Gut Yontif & Shanah Tovah

This evening begins Yom Kippur, the end of the High Holy Days for Jews.  This is a ten day period beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  It is a time for contemplation, repentance, and atonement for the preceding year and anticipation of the year to come. 

As I sat in services tonight, I reviewed the past year.  I've come to realize that I've just been through one of the most fulfilling and challenging years of my life.  I've settled into motherhood, watching my baby become a little boy.  I accomplished several goals I had set for myself... losing my baby weight, becoming a b'nai mitzvah (adult bat mitzvah), running my first 10k race, and being named "Woman of the Year" for my Jewish womens' group.  

But, this year has definitely not been without its challenges.  People have let me down and disappointed me and I'm sure I have done the same to others.  I have made some hard decisions this year.  Some decisions which have sometimes left me lonely and sometimes sad, but have been the right decisions.  I have learned a lot about what is important to me at this stage in my life and I think my family has grown closer for it.

While reading the prayerbook* tonight, several passages spoke to me and I thought I would share them with you.  

"Source of mercy, give us the grace to show forbearance to those who offend against us.  When the wrongs and injustices of others wound us, may our hearts not despair of human good.  May no trial, however severe, embitter our souls and destroy our trust.  When beset by trouble and sorrow, our mothers and fathers put on the armor of faith and fortitude.  May we too find strength to meet adversity with quiet courage and unshaken will.  Help us to understand that injustice and hate will not forever afflict the human race; that righteousness and mercy will triumph in the end."

And to those that I have wronged in some way within the last year, I apologize and will try to learn from my mistakes in the coming year.  

"For all those (sins), O god of Mercy (and to my family and friends), forgive me, pardon me, grant me atonement!"

So, even if you are not Jewish, while I sit in the sanctuary tomorrow, you might still take a moment to review your year and think how you might make the coming year just a bit better.  

*excerpts from the Gates of Repentance Prayerbook.


Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Shana Tova! Sounds like you had a very good year. May next be as good, or better!

We took our 2 little boys to synagogue last night, and they just loved listening to kol nidre. Lovely!

Bridget said...

Good for you for acomplishing so much in one year!! You rock girl!

Miriam said...

Beautiful post...I've been doing a lot of reflecting myself. Shana Tova, may next year be all that you want and more :-) Love ya!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

L'shanah Tovah and Mazel Tov on the Bat Mitzvah! Two of my friends became Bat Mitzvah together this summer. They were awesome. I bet you were, too.

I know this is a hard holiday, but I have to admit that it's one of my favorite services (we use Gates of Repentance, too). It has a real beauty to it and a real acknowledgment of what it means to be human.

And my daughter was born just as the Gates closed one Yom Kippur. That, of course, gives the holiday -- and her -- extra meaning.

I hope you've been inscribed; I'd like to get to know you better in this upcoming year.

Karen said...

Congratulations to you on all your achievements.

maricel said...

congratulations to you!

Lana Gramlich said...

Ironically, I was born on Yom Kippur (& raised Jewish, as well.) It seems we're on vastly different paths, but I congratulate your achievements & wish you all the best in your endeavors. :)
(Thanks for stopping by my blog & taking the time to comment.)

Later Gator said...

Beautiful passages.

DESJ and Company said...

nice to meet you...shana tova. I'm adding your blog to my reader!

Meredith said...

hey... I didn't know you were named Woman of the Year! That is awesome!! You have definitely achieved a lot this year... I'm still in awe of your early morning runs!