In Judaism, the 10 days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are known as the ‘Days of Awe’ and they invite introspection on a grand scale. In my childhood, it meant going to synagogue for services that felt like they were going to last for 10 days each. As an adult, I created my own rituals which involved fasting, prayer, meditation, letting go of old patterns and ways that didn’t serve, sitting by water, immersing in nature. Far more fulfilling than praying by rote even though some of the familiarity of the prayers was comforting.
This past Sunday, I attended a service at an interfaith community of which I have been a part since 1984. Pebble Hill, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania welcomes people from various traditions and on specific holidays, offers a flavor of that faith and invites full participation. My friends Deva Troy and Gary Schoenberg led the celebration that focused on the idea of T’shuvah (turning, as in turning over a new leaf).
One of the aspects of the service is doing a personal inventory. This could not have been more perfect timing since I have been working on my 4th step and conducting a “searching and fearless moral inventory”. We were asked to write what it is we wanted to repeat and what we wanted to change.
On my keeper list, was:
Saying I love you everyday
Taking care of myself in body, mind and spirit
Being real and transparent
Speaking my truth
Focus on the positive
Continue to come clean with myself and the people in my life
Continue the forgiveness process
Putting my work out there everyday
Ch ch ch changes….
Letting go of co-dependent behaviors
Willingness to receive love and support when before I deflected it
Trusting in the Highest Good outcome
Walking with myself and others through whatever comes up, without rushing through it
Transforming my inner critic into an ally
What are yours?
As a group, we ate apples and honey, to symbolize the idea of bringing sweetness into the New Year. It brought together folks who had grown up in the Jewish tradition and there were but a handful of us, as well as those who had never experienced the ritual in a communal setting.
We also recited a Reconstructionist version of the traditional prayer.
Avinu Malkaynu — Our Parent, Our Sovereign
By Burt Jacobson | Prayer
“Our Father, our King, teach us how to make this year a new beginning. Our Mother, our Queen, teach us how to grow from the harshness of life. Our Source and our Destiny, teach us how to accept what we must accept. Our Guide and our Truth, teach us to change what must be changed.
Our Father, our King, teach us how to face disease and death. Our Mother, our Queen, teach us how to enjoy the gifts of life. Our Source and our Destiny, teach us how to make peace with our enemies. Our Guide and our Truth, teach us how we can best help our people, Israel.
Our Father, our King, teach us how we can best help all humanity. Our Mother, our Queen, let us find pardon for our wrongdoings. Our Source and our Destiny, let us return to You, wholly and completely. Our Guide and our Truth, teach us how to help those who are ill.
Our Father, our King, let us write our names in the Book of Life. Our Mother, our Queen, help us to find meaningful work. Our Source and our Destiny, help us to find inner freedom. Our Guide and our Truth, help us to learn how to love.
Our Father, our King, receive our prayers. Our Mother, our Queen, teach us how to be good lovers. Our Source and our Destiny, teach us how to be good parents. Our Guide and our Truth, teach us how to be good children.
Our Father, our King, teach us how to be good friends. Our Mother, our Queen, teach us how to be good Jews. Our Source and our Destiny, teach us how to be good people. Our Guide and our Truth, teach us how to be one with Your universe.
Avinu malkeinu (3) chaneinu va’aneinu ki ein banu ma’asim Asai imanu tzedakah va’chesed (2) Ve’hoshi’einu Avinu malkeinu (3), grant us justice and bring us salvation, Grant us justice and loving kindness (2) and bring us salvation.”
From the Yamim Noraim supplement of Congregation Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia.
http://youtu.be/eUw4TY9H4-g Avinu Malkeinu by Phish ( a rather unusual version)