Blessed Holy Wholeness,
Tonight begins the Yamim Noraim,
The Days of Awe.
And every year I like to decide on a meditation or prayer practice that I do for all ten days, and then at the end of Yom Kippur I take note of what effect it may have had on me. This year I have decided to be aware of the word, praise.
Praising God is weird
If God is God, then why would God need or want praise?
And it comes up a lot in our prayers
So this year, for the next ten days,
I’m going to define praise
Not as flattery, but as awareness, mindfulness,and awe of the Wow
So…first things first…
Here you are!
You made it, you are still alive! Hi! How’s it going?
My cat died, but I’m okay. You?
Praise us, here we are, this congregation,
awesome in the days of awe,
That we are here together, after three years apart
On Rosh Hashana
In person and en masse:
Y’all look so good,
All three dimensional and stuff,
And smelly and real,
With actual books,
To sing and pray and learn
And whisper in the back rows
Say hello to each other. Go ahead.
Also, lest we forget,
Praise technology and technicians
That we may also join in via Zoom
For all of our High Holyday services
So that those of us who are ill or vulnerable to Covid,
Those of us with mobility issues,
And those of us who are far away
Can still join together
To sing and pray and learn
And comment in the chat room.
Zoomers, say hello to each other. If the chat room isn’t working, wave to each other.
And at last
We can pray and we will be heard
We can mourn and we will be seen
We can apologize and we will be forgiven.
We are not alone.
And As good as we feel in this moment
We must praise our constant companion of late,
Born from our compassionate hearts
And our grief, disappointment and fear,
May it motivate us to action. And,
If the king walks in the field as they say he does during Elul
Perhaps he will take a moment or two to notice the fires and the floods
And the racism and the misogyny and the LGBTQ phobia and the fascism.
Needing some wow over here, please.
And as bad as we may feel in this moment
We must praise our other constant companion,
And I know you guys
You can’t fool me
You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have quite a lot of hope
I mean, a lot of you are activists, it’s who you are.
So maybe your hope is on vacation or having a good cry in the corner
But it is here, with you, in you, it is in your very soul. .
Happy vernal equinox, y’all.
Spring is coming!
Light some candles and
Praise the future.
Praise our Clergy and speakers and the next ten days.
When we engage in holy conversation
Praise tzedukah, when we actively seek to heal the world
Praise teshuvah, when we return to our true selves and our community.
Anyway, may you all you have a sweet New Year
And an interesting fast!