Yom Kippur Musings

In the last ten days (The Days of Awe), I have thought very hard about what type of person I want to be in the coming year, and especially the way I want to express my Judaism. At this point, I don’t think it’s something I can separate myself from, it is so engrained in my identity. Before I was married, however, I did not keep kosher, except on Shabbat. Before I was married, I did not speak Hebrew. Before I was married, I did not do a true fast on Yom Kippur (meaning I drank, used electronics, drove the car). Now that I am no longer married, I have asked myself: Do I want to keep kosher? What synagogue do I want to join? Do I still want to be with someone Jewish? How serious will my Yom Kippur be?

I tell you, these questions are much easier in Israel. Almost everyone you meet is Jewish, so that question gets answered easily. On Yom Kippur, you can’t drive or your car will be stoned and since everyone else is fasting, and sitting at home and reading, meditating or attending shul, it’s not so hard to do it with them. I’m not the odd one out. In Israel, I didn’t particularly care for any synagogue, though, because it felt so very different from what I was used to. Here in Southern California, I have attended many synagogues I like, a lot. But, do I have time to dedicate to being a member of a synagogue? I work, and when I’m not working, I’m working on comedy. It is not impossible to be intentional with my Shabbat and dedicate that one day to God. But, am I ready to make that commitment?

Moving on to things I am more sure of. I sent my ex-husband a Rosh Hashanah note which basically said that I valued our time together, I wish him a healthy and happy New Year. He responded in kind and added blessings for my parents. I have surely divorced one of the nicest men on the planet. And I am blessed by that. I know so many others who fight bitterly or are tormented by their exes. But, there are others with whom I perhaps owe an apology, except I’m not particularly sorry for what I have done, or I’m not sure how to approach the apology. I am sorry that I no longer want to be someone’s friend. I am sorry that I told this person, thereby creating hurt feelings. This might be the closest I get to a direct apology. Additionally, I’m sorry if I used someone. I’m sorry for being selfish. I’m sorry for saying mean things. I’m sorry for the mistakes I’ve made, not because of them, but for the consequences other suffered.

I feel at relative peace moving forward into the New Year. I will be spending tonight and tomorrow with a new friend among other young adults in the Los Angeles area. I am happy because I enjoy new experiences and meeting new people. I am happy because I am not alone. I am happy because I am beginning to see a light, a path, a place.

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