Tuesday night is Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement. Jews around the world fast, (abstain from eating or drinking) and spend the day in temple. One of the prayers said is the Viddui (Confessional). We say it aloud surrounded by people who are saying the same things. It begins, for the sin which we have committed against you.... A few years ago our Rabbi asked the kids to come up with what they were sorry for. Some of it was touching, some adorable. My favorite was "For the sin I committed agains you for punching my sister--but she really deserved it."
Anyway that inspired me to come up with my own that I sometimes say in temple. Still this is public and maybe others can find that they are not alone.
For the sin which I have committed against you for forgetting others humanity.
Donald Trump is human. So is Kim Davis. So are a lot of people who I disagree with. If they died tomorrow there are people who would mourn them like I am still mourning the loss of my mother. When did people become the sum total of their opinions on one thing? Would I want people to judge me on my opinions on one thing? The best thing about this country is that someone can stand on a street corner and scream things at the top of their lungs that I would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of mine. They have that right. If they want to run for president--they have that right and I have the responsibility to oppose them if I so choose.
But they are human.
They have people who love them and I will not say anything that demeans their humanity because then I am no better.
For the sins which I have committed by inwardly bragging about my daughter.
Do I need to explain this one?
For the sins which I have committed by being in denial about some of my health issues.
I have to put myself back on track.
For the sins which I have committed by judging other mothers harshly.
This one I want to stop. We are getting through this thing called life the best that we can. I have to stop thinking "What is that mother doing to that child?" I have to stop. People are thinking it about me and I hate it. I'm doing the best I can. So are they.
For the sins which I have committed by not giving people the benefit of the doubt.
"Could you tell me some of the costs involved in adopting your daughter?" Someone at my daughter's daycare asked me. I opened my mouth to blast her with both barrels. Why on earth is it her business. Then I saw her eyes. The hunger. She wanted to be a mother as badly as I had. What if I had said something bad? I have started to ask "Why do you ask?" instead of hitting them and found wonderful conversations.
For the sins which I have committed by making every tear my daughter sheds somehow related to her time in the orphanage or her adoption.
Sometimes she is crying because it is bedtime and she wants to stay up later. Sometimes she is crying because I said she couldn't have another cookie.
For the sins which I have committed by treating my husband as my coparent instead of my partner, lover and best friend.
For the sins which I have gotten impatient with my siblings and dad.
We're all trying to figure out how to go on in a world where mom isn't. I should cut them some more slack because they are hurting too.
For the sins which I have committed by trying to do too much.
For the sins I have committed by not doing enough.
For all these sins oh Lord, Forgive us, pardon us, grant us atonement.
I wish a happy healthy new year for all.