Thursday, September 12, 2013

On Kol Nidre

Kol Nidre. The holiest of holy days.  Possibly, in my opinion, the most difficult of holidays to celebrate as a family.  How to feel strongly about connecting to the moment.  About really feeling atonement, fasting and thinking and dedicating yourself.  All the while still feeding a child, changing diapers, and trying not to loose your head.

When you think about the words of Kol Nidre, the sins we are all atoning for it's so easy to say them, and then do just the opposite.  Give an exasperated sigh, bribe with a toy or cookie, and generally do all the things we said that we were sorry for.  But when we pass judgement on the clothes our children picked out themselves, we are aren't sorry, we're just going through the motions.

Each year for me the days of Awe and Kol Nidre are the culmination of a time of serious thought.  A dedication to myself.  I really try to apologize.  I really try to delve into myself and think about the promises I made to G-d and didn't keep.  Like some others, I really struggle with this thought of forgiveness.  I try to really forgive not only myself, but only make promises I think I can keep.

Of course, we are all human.  We all make mistakes, and we all need to atone for them however we can.

This year, it's so much harder.  There is another soul, another life that hangs, seemingly in my Kol Nidre prayers.  There is another person to consider, and somehow it seems so much scarier to consider her, and our relationship.  Thinking in the next year that she will test me.  She will test my patience, my stamina, my relationship with G-d, my husband and myself.  What about her promises.  What about the vows that she made to G-d.  I stand not just for myself, but also for her.

In the next year I know that EG will rely on me.  To teach her, to guide her, to go down new paths together.  And I hope that as I sit in Kol Nidre, beat my chest as each sin passes, I can think about using every day to be better.  For her, with her.

This year we are heading to Shul by the Shore, a Chabad shul in Long Beach.  They advertise a children's programming option, which for a Kol Nidre is very hard to find.  I'll let you know how it goes.

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