In the last posts I've been reflecting on different aspects of Yom Kippur including the singular, solitary observance of the day. Now I want to say something about Yom Kippur in community.
I see the High Holiday prayer book as a resource (Eddie's new Machzor Lev Shalem is extraordinary, rich, transformative); similarly, the rabbi leading the service is a resource, the hazzan (usually some number of people serving as cantors) a third. But ultimately "wherever you go, there you are" - while the prayer book, the rabbi, the cantor, can help lift you higher, the experience you have depends on what you yourself are bringing to it. Many of us spend the days and weeks leading up to Yom Kippur working to prepare our souls - this is the traditional blueprint - and then the day itself is upon us... (more…)