SF Bedtime and Atonement with G-d


Just put our daughter into bed. Granted, she’ll get up two or three times, feigning a desire for milk, or juice, or pee-pee, with warnings from us, but she’s in bed. The TV off, dishwasher humming, the Fulton Street traffic whooshing by the bedroom window. Doesn’t sound like such a bad deal. It ain’t a bad deal at all.

Tonight, at sundown, began Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of Atonement. The day you reckon yourself with G-d, or your conception of G-d, and I use the hyphen today in respect for my religion on this day, for Adonai is unspellable and unnameable and you go figure out what the hell that means. I shouldn’t even be using electricity right now.

What do I reckon? The past year of “sins.” The past year of not living up to expectations I have for myself or that others have for me. Friends and family, even colleagues, are more forgiving than I am to myself, or that I allow my “G-d” to be to me. (Sorry, Metroblogging, under 3 blogs per week, per my promise. I was talking to G-d about that one today.) What of the people I’ve hurt, or just disregarded, intentionally or not, not even cognizant of my actions? What of the excuses I’ve made to cover my failings, my laziness?

To me, every day seems a day of atonement. A day I need to reckon with myself and with G-d. The poem (or blog ;>!) I didn’t write, the wave I didn’t take off on, the room I didn’t clean, the moment I lost my temper with my child, the white lie to a friend or my brother, the idiotic socially conservative Repubican colleague with no attention to details the job demands (and, yes, blaming him for being a dumbass conservative Republican) and my desire to lambaste and weaken him, and–sincerely–not seeing the G-d in every goddamn face I see, even crossing in the same crosswalk.

Who am I? Where am I going? Where the fuck do I want to go? Yeah, you know, Rudoff, you know where you want to go. The path is right in front of you.

L’shanah tovah. Happy 5767 to y’all. Really, no matter your creed, religion, race, sexual orientation, terrorist or Dodgers leanings, etc.–a happy new year to you and the sincere hope that we all stop the knee-jerk opinions, road rage fingers, and unfair posturing at Self and others, and that we contemplate, think before we act, and stop blaming others for our own situations, faults, and inactions–and just do the Right thing.

Simply, forgive.

The Book is empty.

(And as I’m checking the Live Preview of this blog, my daughter sneaks out quietly, not a sound as I pick her up, place her back in bed, tell her to go ‘nene’ (sleep) and we kiss goodnight. It ain’t a bad deal at all.)

2 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 9:34 pm

    This is a beautiful post.

    The whole world would be better if we did forgive and atone more.

  2. Nancy (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 9:01 am

    I really appreciated this post, Matt – it vocalized a process that we could all benefit from. I’m not Jewish, but I, too, choose to honor the holiday with reflections upon how I live my life, and how I interact with those around me.
    Thanks for the inspiration this morning.

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