Gmar chatima tova -- may we be inscribed for good! Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (At-One-ment), the Shabbat of Shabbats, begins at sunset, with Kol Nidre, All Vows...and ends tomorrow at sunset with a festive break-fast meal. And my tradition teaches that our fates for the next year are written on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur, in the Book of Life.
I took these four photos last month at sunset, as I sat on a bench outside the Gaithersburg Aquatic Center (also known as the Middle School, which my Julia and her mother attended) after my swim, waiting for my Bashert Julia. She loves to help me by picking me up on her way home from work -- I enjoy walking home, and the weather is usually good enough for me to do that, but I’m also usually quite tired and hungry at that point, and her schlepping gives us some rare time alone together, and enables us to come home together.
These clouds make me think of the Gates of Heaven, and how they are especially open to us during these High Holy Days. And how ever since I was a child, I’ve looked at heavenly clouds and felt especially close to my loved ones in the next life. And how we are drawing near to Samhain, when my Julia’s Celtic tradition teaches that the border between our world and the next is most easily crossed.
May we have meaningful fasts, and feasts -- however we define those things! And may we be mindful of those who are not fasting, and those who are harmed by shaming, shameful words around fasting and feasting -- especially fat people and those with eating disorders. May we encounter, experience and expand teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah -- re/turning, prayer and justice! Amen!
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