Happy New Year to us all! There's a wonderful Jewish song that talks about things being better next year, which is kind of the DNA of Jewish thinking. Things will always be better, God willing. Oi. Have some apple dipped in honey for a sweet New Year. This is my favorite time of year because I absolutely love Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. To me it all speaks of what Jesus (Yeshua) did on the cross for us. Late tonight I danced away in the kitchen to the beautiful, exhuberant Hebrew songs and my kids watched somewhat amazed (disinterested is more like it) -- but with my Jewish blood I can't help myself. I love the Israeli dancing, love it, love it. When I dance in the circle with other dancers it's like personifying the wind. Jesus (Yeshua) is the Lord of Dance-- I imagine He must have loved to dance. I know He danced because all Jews all over the world at least dance the Hora.
Kol Nidre, which is sung on Yom Kippur, asks God to forgive us of the sins we may commit in the coming year. We bless one another with the words, Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." We toss from us the sins and shortcomings of the past year and start the new year with a clean slate. The service of Tashlich has us off to the ocean, sea, lake or river to recite the Tashlich prayers and symbolically cast our sins into the water, in evocation of the verse, "And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea." This takes some serious honesty with onesself and the walk in holiness before the Lord. To me the active practice of ridding ourselves of past defeats, sins, failures is quite beautiful. In my former practice as a psychotherapist I would have certain patients physically engage in the act of writing out their faiures, sins, shameful deeds guilt-producing acts, thoughts -- on pieces of paper and then tossing them into a fire ( I didn't have a lake or river in the office) -- and together with therapy and the Holy Spirit, miracles happened in these dear people's lives. (We tend to remember experiences that we take an active part in.)
Placed under the blood of Jesus, the One who is our atonement, makes these ancient Jewish High Holy days rich and freeing-- makes forgiveness so incredibly beautiful. I know that as followers of Jesus we are under Grace now -- and I know "religion" puts us under a sort of bondage-- but we would do good to look at the beauty of these High Holy Days, and indeed all the feasts and festivals, and feel their deep spiritual embrace.
So what has Yom Kippur have to do with a life in the theatre, you may wonder. My answer to that question? --Everything. Yeshua, our Atonement, releases us to be all that we can be in Him on this earth. You and I were destined for freedom, saved by His Grace-- no longer forced to carry the weight of the world on our backs. Wow. Leshanah tovah . Happy New Year. May you be inscribed and sealed for a truly good year.