I’ve gotten through another Yom Kippur filled with a greater sense of determination to deepen my observances as a Jewish woman. I have resolved among many things to learn more about the faith/covenant that I have entered and to be a greater advocate for Israel. I’ve also walked away from the fast with a sense that the only way to heal this hurting world s not only from a greater sense of identity but also understanding the connection I share with people of all colors, religions and creeds. This was the message of Rabbi Petrone for the hundreds of Jews gathered in the sanctuary on Friday night for Kol Nidrei, the kickoff of Yom Kippur.
Rabbi Petrone words reminded me that the way of individualism is loneliness and arrogance. To assume that we can go this life alone without the aid and love of others is foolishness. We are responsible for one another, when one person hurts, we all should hurt. Yet, this isn’t what I see when I watch the news at night and the horror stories of people beating one another in the streets of San Antonio or the elderly person suffering from dementia being abused in a facility on the east coast. This was caught on tape so future disaster was thwarted.
These stories of pain and selfishness build a greater sense inside me that the only way things improve in the world is wen we see the humanity in others and honor it. These are the words of one wise rabbi. And life is the ultimate gift given to all by a loving God. God requires us to be responsible to one another and ourselves.
God is good indeed, and we can choose to do good by consciously being mindful of our actions in life toward business, school, relationships and interaction with others. Certainly the message of universality is one that fundamentalists will mock at, perceiving it to be some kind of watered down doctrine yet I don’t see how their exclusiveness way of viewing life has stopped wars and bloodshed. I’m not suggesting we water down the differences of what makes me Jewish or one of my readers a Christian. I’m merely stating we share this world anyway and should make the best of it and try to make peace.
“A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” ~Paul Valery