Monday, August 28, 2006

OK, OK, So It Was a Month

But I'm back now.

Missed the first days of Elul--what is it now, the 4th? So much for my yearly plan to make this year the one when I try to prepare for the Hi-Hos (hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to shul we go) something more than a chore. I do dread them, to be honest; they leave me spiritually cold and logistically frazzled. Here's what I wrote three years ago in a dvar for DePaul's Kol Nidre service:

Three years ago, I decided to stop coming to Yom Kippur services—at least, that is, to the services for adults. This wasn’t just a matter of scheduling or comfort, although I’ll admit that the 90-minute children’s service I took up instead has a good deal to offer on both counts, along with a live performance of the Book of Jonah, complete with a four-foot cardboard fish and a pint-sized female God in a cotton-ball beard. I decided to stop coming because, frankly, I didn’t see the point. When the second intifada broke out, right in the middle of the Days of Awe, the responses I heard to it before Yom Kippur were just the same as those I heard after the holiday. Those who blamed the Palestinians before, blamed them afterwards. Those who blamed Israel, blamed Israel. Those who didn’t know what to do, or say, or think, remained confused. For my friends, for “my people” as I saw them on the news, and, most of all, for myself, 25 hours of fasting and prayer hadn’t done a damned thing. At which point, bring on the cotton balls.

Three years and another cruel, pointless war haven't changed my view. But this year is a "Jewish year" chez Selinger, and I'll need to think of some way to deal with these Days of Aw-Shucks standing between me and Sukkot, a holiday I can love.

More on that, as well as on poetry--and who knows, maybe more of that old dvar, soon. The kids will be up momentarily, and I have pancakes and lunches to prepare. It's the hard-knock life.

Celebrate me home.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see you 'round these parts again.

Wish I could offer good ways to make the HHD more awesome, rather than awful. Will have to give that some thought. I find I can enjoy RH services reasonably well, and these last few years I've gone on retreat for YK which turns out to be a tremendous blessing for me...but I acknowledge it's not necessarily feasible for families, so it's not a great solution to offer.