Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Morning After

I'm always surprised by how many people seem to dread Yom Kippur. I look forward to it, to be honest. Sure, I miss the whole eating thing, but I don't think one day of fasting is really that big of a deal. I don't even mind all the many hours of davening. The only thing that really bothers me about being in shul for the majority of the day is the inability to get away from all those people. They're everywhere. Behind me. In front of me. Next to me. After a while, I start to feel a bit claustrophobic.

Despite the fact that Yom Kippur sort of requires davening with a minyan, I've always thought of it as the most intensely personal of all the chagim. So I don't really want to be surrounded by people (particularly people who are talking to one another. One memorable year, the three ladies behind me insisted on talking about banana bread.). I just want to be able to have my own conversations with Hashem.

Somehow, every year, on Yom Kippur I manage to come to terms with issues that have been bothering me, whether they're emotional, logical, whatever. Feelings towards other people, towards specific events or situations...they all seem to make more sense to me. Or, at least, I gain an acceptance of whatever it is I'm feeling. This year was no different.

Now Yom Kippur is over. Despite all my intentions and resolutions to the contrary, I know it will not be all that long before I start to fall back into my usual patterns of behaviour, and my world becomes muddled and confusing once more. But for right now, everything still makes sense. It's a pretty spectacular feeling.

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