Praise Elul, the plowing
Praise Selichot, the planting
Praise Rosh Hashannah, the watering,
Praise Yom Kippur, the weeding
Praise Sukkot, the Harvest.
God of our ancestors
God of my childhood
God of the mystics
God of the philosophers
God of this community
Tonight I ask to be released from all my vows of perfection.
They were impossible.
I have made bad choices.
I caused pain
I was selfish
I talked behind people’s backs
I lost perspective
I wasted time
I whined and moped
I said mean things and thought I was funny
I went into debt.
I was insincere
I did not take care of myself
I was too angry
I wasn’t angry enough
I projected my neuroses onto others
I used my abilities to intimidate
I didn’t use my abilities enough.
I did not sow or reap or harvest
I did not create.
I didn’t give money when it would have helped.
I didn’t give my time when it would have made a difference.
I didn’t see others pain because I was too busy with my own
I was unsupportive to my friends.
I took my grief out on others.
I showed off.
I was foolish.
I was lazy
I was sloppy
I wallowed in self-pity.
I was sarcastic.
I started every sentence with the word, “I”.
I did things that hurt other people.
Sometimes I couldn’t help myself, or so I like to think.
Sometimes I could help myself, and I knew it, and I didn’t.
I feared death and pretended I didn’t.
I thought I could control life and despaired when I could not.
Aveinu Yah, Emotainu Yah, God of my fathers and mothers, God of my current understanding or lack thereof, awesome and incomprehensible, for all these sins and many more, I promise to try for better from myself and others, and I pray for compassion and kindness for all who are in pain or who cause pain. Amen.