Welcome to the Ten Days of Awe! Rosh Hashanah ended last night, and Yom Kippur is coming up, and the ten days in between are considered to be set aside for prayer and repentance.
I feel like I ought to have something cool to say about these holidays, but I don’t. I never do. Rosh Hashanah doesn’t seem to accomplish much of anything. It gets called the Jewish New Year, but it’s also very clearly the first day of the seventh month and is therefore no such thing. It’s a day set aside for blowing the shofar. Which has its points; I like the shofar and have fond memories of Daddy blowing it from the front porch during the afternoon. But overall it seems like the extra services and the dressing up and the extra liturgy are shoehorned in for the express purpose of irritating me.
And then Yom Kippur. Holiest day of the year, the one day a year that the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies, a day set aside for the affliction of our souls. Traditionally we fast. I don’t mind fasting, but rabbi-mandated fasting irks me. (Not that I will be fasting this year, since I’m breastfeeding. But it’s irked me on other years.) And there’s even more of the liturgy and prayers and services and dressing up and behaving.
Admittedly I don’t have a better solution for the whole soul-affliction thing. I could stay home to meditate and pray, but I know perfectly well that I’d end up getting distracted and reading a Georgette Heyer instead. So possibly I just need to get over it.
Nor can I head into the grace arena and claim that we don’t have to afflict our souls any more. God is pretty clear that this holiday is permanent and part of our identity.
But. It bugs me.
However, I do like the shofars, and it’s actually nice to hear the traditional liturgy for once (we don’t usually use it) and I’m glad we celebrate the festivals that God appointed.
Even if they do annoy me :)