Saturday, October 15, 2005
Yom Kippur is now behind us. I again attended the "Alternative Service", and got a lot out of it, even though there are still some things that are a bit too alternative for me. But all in all, I feel as though I really delved into the meaning of Yom Kippur more than I am able to at a traditional service, where I am never able to follow the Machzor and end up day-dreaming about all sorts of things.
The service is mostly done in english, since almost all of the participants are english-speakers. There's no Sefer Torah there now -- the one that they had had to go back to its shul last year, so the Torah reading was just that, a reading. We went around the room, reading the Torah portion, but again, it was the first time that I really thought about the relationship of what was happening in the Torah to what we were experiencing here and now.
And we all had time to do some personal introspection. I tried to do work on myself to release anger, which I realize is not healthy or conducive to my development, but nevertheless overwhelms me sometime. I can't say that by the end of Yom Kippur I felt any less anger at people who I feel have betrayed me or hurt me through this past year, but I recognized what I was feeling.
I did ask forgiveness from a neighbor whom I quarreled with this past year, and felt wonderful afterward, because although I still think that he's not the nicest guy in the world, I felt that we were moving onward (he also asked my forgiveness, since he hadn't exactly been a pleasurable neighbor this year). There's a lot of psychotherapy in the tradition of asking forgiveness of someone who you might have wronged during the past year -- psychologists should take note!
Now, of course, the holiday of Succot is upon us. I bought a simple plastic tarp for a Succa and tied it to the polls that were already on our porch, bought some ready-made roll-up schach, and voila! Succa! I am ready to...of course...start cooking. We are invited to a neighbor's house for the first lunch -- it's a potluck, so we just have to make one dish, though a lot of it, since about 60 people are invited. I need to start surfing the recipie sites on the internet for some good ideas -- it'll be vegetarian as well, which further complicates matters.
I am overwhelmed with food concerns -- cooking for the holidays is crazy. Last night for Shabbat we had chili, which was a success, especially since I could easily take some out and make it vegetarian for Yochi and Ariella. And today we had a house full of guests, so whatever I made was acceptable, since everyone likes to be invited to eat someone else's food, no matter how good or bad it is. (Also, how much could I screw up chicken and mashed potatos?)
Here are a few pictures from the summer. I hope to take more during succot.