Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Holidays Have Come and Gone

The Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement have concluded. The services were tiring, yet good; the most important thing is the time to think and reflect. My husband was heroic and battled hurting feet to attend the Concluding Service with me. It was especially heroic as that service is done mostly standing, in front of the open Ark. That service gives a sense of closure to the time of pausing and reflection, noting that "the sun is setting, the gates are closing"and the year is beginning.
I have a very powerful memory of the colorful, late afternoon sun coming through the spectacular stained glass windows (one for each tribe) at Temple DeHirsch Sinai in Seattle, during the Closing Services. My sister, brother and I would return to the services to find my parents after the Memorial Services. Sadly, so much has changed and my father is the one we remember at the Memorial Services now.
I hope that I have gained some insight and motivation to make this a wonderful year. I am blessed to have been here to attend yet one more Concluding Service, and to again feel the chills and tears welling up at parts of the service "as the end is nigh", when the holiday is ending. The sun comes through the stained glass windows, with various colors of light. That light is precious and, hopefully, is a gift for the year ahead.