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Jen Taylor Friedman
 
21st-Sep-2007 01:06 pm
shiny jen
Life has been distinctly full over the past few weeks, what with one thing and another; I constantly feel that I'm running as hard as I can to stay in the same place, and still slipping back rather. I've been routinely going to bed at 1 and getting up at 6, and subsisting mainly on toast because it's fast to make. I've had some gigantic achievements and some shattering changes, both largely fuelled by necessity, and haven't had time to realise it.

With that in mind, the approaching Yom Kippur feels like a welcome chance to come to a stop and breathe for a moment. This is, after all, a whole day set aside for reviewing what the previous year has been like and how one might go about tackling the upcoming year. Left to myself, I doubt very much I'd get around to doing this.

On RH, I thought about the concept teshuva, tefillah, tzedakah (repentance, prayer, charity), the triad whose performance is said to influence what will happen to you in the next twelve months. When you're feeling utterly raw and beaten by life, what does teshuva mean? How can I repent when I barely have enough energy to talk? And I think it may be that teshuvah is about making oneself whole. Part of that is relationships with other people; damaged relationships aren't healthy, and apologising and repenting and so on is a way of dealing with that. But part of it is how you yourself are doing.

In that sense, if teshuva is about healing, tefillah is about reaching up and staying aware of the hugeness of everything, and tzedakah is about sharing yourself with other people. Internal, spiritual, and communal wholeness, if you will.

ETA: funnily enough, the rabbi at shul said more or less the same thing in his sermon.
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