You and I and most of us are afraid of check-in. Terrorized to take the time and focus on our doubts, our fears, our shortcomings and our flaws and faults. In the Jewish faith there are an entire 40 days dedicated to this process once a year, which sums it all up in the 24-hour-fasting day of Yom Kippur after which technically G-d inscribes you in the book of life and all of your sins are cancelled for the new year to start.
It is obvious that for modern thinker like myself and other Jews among us, this is a silly thought, why would there be a day where all of our bad actions were to be erased and why is this day today? But, most of all, why shall I be re-inscribed in the book of life, I am a human with or without my flaws, my sins and all of it. Actually, I am more so of one with them all. Get off my lawn and stop telling me pre-temple mount lies. But…wait…wait if the reason of having a set-day for such process is what we all need to come together and make a collective effort to pardon one another and, first of all, and most important of it all, ourselves? What if this day was extended to non-Jews as well, but to all of us for the sake of being a lot calmer and a lot more patient with our million judgments towards one another and ourselves? What if we make this day a day to do nothing, but reflecting on your present and past action to be able to look forward and change something about it.
I am afraid and scared of this day all year around, I still dwell on many Bible passages we read tonight and tomorrow and why should I ask pardon to G-d and not myself and other, which are G-dly creatures and indeed part of my own self? I am and always will be a very controversial believer in Judaism and its contorted laws of love and respect, but I still fast, I still walk to synagogue every year since I turned 12 and I wait all year for this day to happen with impatience and with eagerness, because at the end of every Yom Kippur, I feel free. Quiet clique to say, but no word are worth using to explain this feeling of complete emptiness of body and mind. I feel as if I were re-born to start it all new. Maybe it only lasts few minutes or few days, but it is the best feeling one can have.
And no, it is not as if every questions I have in life will be solved or answered to in these days of repentement and I would walk out of the temple with a shiny wise hat on, but I will have a chance to look at things differently, with more detachment and maybe even more compassion and less grief and clinginess. And yes, once again, words are not right or strong enough to explain the feeling one has in this day, in this very moment where I can feel close to every single member of my family doing the same thing or, at least, stopping and thinking about it. And remembering the ones who left us and yet are still with us everyday in every thoughts.
Chatima` Tova` to you all. May this be a new beginning and a very good one.