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PREPENT DAY 39: You Are Here Now: Imitate death so that we may truly live.

PREPENT DAY 39:

Tishrei 10 5776  – September 23 2015

NYC

“Yom Kippur is supposed to be a miniature death. We enter the universe of death as the sun sets and the fast begins. We confess on our deathbeds; we confess one day a year. We wear white shrouds in the coffin; We wear white one day a year. We cannot participate in the acts that make us alive before we breathe our last; we refrain from our most human, materials needs one day a year. On Yom Kippur we imitate death so that we may truly live.

..On Yom Kippur we mimic death, the ultimate statement that we have no control over our mortality. The confrontation with death prompts us to reconsider what we’ve been living for. We spend the days in between in a state of vulnerability; on the day after Yom Kippur we take greater control of ourselves and what we need to achieve. We lose control to lose control.”

Erica Brown,  ‘Return’

 

This is the day of reflection and truth. The Book of our lives is open. 

We’ve spent 38 days prepenting. This is the day of repenting. Regret and commitment to change, hand in hand, together. 

I know where I’m wrong. I know where I fall short. I know that no matter how hard I try I keep finding myself in situations that I later regret, having to do with my own choices.

And yet, I try, again, and again, to get back to center, to breath before I talk or write or act or press send or raise a hand or my voice.

This is a day for honoring these attempts, each one another notch onwards.

This is the day for making decisions about the future.

This is the day of saying goodbye to all that now exists in the past.

This is a day for being as fully present in the present as possible.

What would it look like if each moment of today was seen as though our last? How I take a step, sit down, rise up, shake a hand, hug somebody, look outside the window, take a breath, shed a tear, and later, drink a cup of water?

How can more of our days live up to this level of presence?

For those of you who’ve read along with me – we’ve done the work, the soul work that is never finished and awaits us once this journey is done. Another journey waits. But we are here today with hearts still beating, rising to the challenge, taking on the sacred commitment to live each day as if our last, loving others as we love ourselves, doing our best to make each day better.

If all we get out of today is a good cry, dayenu.

If all we get out of today is a glimmer of clarity about just one thing we can do better this next year to save our lives, dayenu.

If all we get out of today is knowing that we come together in humility to stand in the presence of the infinite, with each other, witnessing the mystery of our history and all that fills this world, dayenu.

If all we get out of today is a moment of silence, dayenu.

May we enter in peace, and exit in peace, and be ready, mind and soul and spirit, for the rest of our lives.

G’mar Chatima Tova: May we be Signed and Sealed in the Book of Life.

~Amichai