Friday, September 21, 2007

Yom Kippur Eve, 2007

The Yom Kippur holiday will start in about 90 minutes. Already you can feel the pace of life slowing down. All the windows are open but there is little noise. Traffic is becoming more sporadic. the airport has already closed and with it the noise of the planes. Tones are more muted. The most prevalent sound is the quiet clink of dishes in the kitchens of those preparing their final pre-fast meal. Soon that too will be replaced by the quiet conversations of strolling adults, the whirr of bicycle wheels, and the happy sounds of children let loose on the streets.

The mood is becoming more introspective, more contemplative. Neighbors wish each other a "good inscription" for the coming year, or an easy fast. Fasting or not Yom Kippur lets you, even encourages you, to stop for a day and take stock. We could all do worse.

Oh, and the bicycles are all tuned up and ready to go. The only questions are which will get pride of place this evening - the bike or the rollerblades - and how much will the tricycle be pedalled versus how much pushing the parents will have to do.

11 comments:

Carol Anne said...

What a wonderful holiday this sounds like! How does one wish a 'happy inscriptin" in hebrew?

Robin said...

It is a lovely holiday in Israel. In the US it's usually a much more solemn, less enjoyable holiday. Mainly because if you don't spend it fasting and in synagogue then what in essence have you done? Here, you have the choice to observe the holiday in varying ways and degrees. It feels a lot more relevant that way, at least for me.

To wish someone a good inscription (in the Book of Life) you say "Gmar Hatima Tovah". I don't remember if that's widely used in the US or if I learned it here though.

Nancy said...

Well, Gmar Hatima Tovah!

Sounds like good idea, a day with family, slowing down the pace.

phyllis said...

Reading your post makes me miss living in Israel. Even with my own world completely consumed with Yom Kippur, it always feels so jarring to realize that the rest of the world around me in the US is just going about a "normal" day...it doesn't feel quite as jolting on Rosh HaShanah or any other holiday...but on Yom Kippur I really feel it. Chatima tova...enjoy the bike ride!

Kim said...

I love your descriptions of holidays in Isreal Robin. They sound so much more meaningful than a lot of the US holidays.

Jo said...

Gmar Hatima Tovah

Sounds like my kind of holiday!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

An easy fast, my friend...

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Gmar Hatima Tovah!

I could use a little introspection right now.

Robin said...

I don't fast anymore Susan, but thanks for the good wishes, and an easy fast to you and the TM.

Pieces of Me said...

As a teacher in Israel, we had the whole day of erev Yom Kippur off to physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepare, and I really do appreciate how the entire country shuts down all in solidarity for this one special day. In the US on the other hand, there is still that semblance, but it is sought out usually through the spiritual connection as you pointed out.

In some ways, I miss fondly the nature setting that brings me closer with my surroundings starting with the beautiful pastoral kibbutz. When Yom Kippur ended, we would all sit outside starting with breaking the fast eating cake and some other nashes.

I went to the services yesterday, which were indeed enjoyble but then I felt I needed to see my garden back on the kibbutz and walk around via the orchards and see the Hermon mountain in the distance. And there's the enjoyable part you mentioned.

I guess that's the price for living in the Diaspora as we have made our choice, but I guess I can still go to Schenley Park and walk around but it definitely does not have the same cultural and social underpinnings. *sigh*

Amy said...

I would be a much better Jew if I lived in Israel. I understood it so much better when I was there... I felt more like I belonged... I identified as a Jew and liked it and this doesn't happen much. (sigh)

I liked the way everything changed during shabat. I liked the slower pace. Here I hate going to synagogue and have a very hard time relating to other jews. :/