Yom Kippur 5773. Disentangled. To what degree?

Attachment to a certain way of thinking or being is what often does me in.  I was standing today, on Yom Kippur, in the same room as the story I related last week of the young girl whose hair was entangled in a scrunchie. I could not unbutton the top button of my white robe and the more I tried (and the more the person I enlisted to help tried) the more tangled it became. Not wanting to take a scissors to it, I opted for another solution—pulling the robe over my head. I am certain that I would have not thought of this solution without having reflected on the predicament the mother faced the week before in helping disentangle her daughter’s hair.


Jill Janov (KK student) shared the following story as a follow-up to last week’s blog;


One day in the Lincoln Tunnel, traffic came to a stop. A huge 18-wheel truck exceeded the clearance of the tunnel and got stuck. It couldn’t move forward or backward. The emergency crew was at a loss, scratching their heads as tempers began to fray all around them. Finally a little boy from a car waiting patiently behind the rig piped up: “Why don’t you just let air out of the tires?” Which they promptly did, lowering the truck, which allowed it to move forward.


Jill’s reflection on the story: This notion about how we disentangle ourselves rather than do further damage is, for me, a stand back from the felt panic of the moment and to ask what soul wants.


In discussing the meaning of the Kol Nidrei prayer—when we disavow for the coming year any vow we may take—it was suggested that instead of this being a defensive maneuver it is a statement of keeping it simple. I am not making promises—to others, to myself or to God. This is often our way of getting stuck in the tunnel and not knowing how to extricate ourselves.


Perhaps this is another reason why we immediately prepare for the coming holiday of Sukkot—building a temporary dwelling outside our home. We need to place into action our awareness of what it means to live today without the promise of the most basic need of shelter. For today though it is sufficient. Make today work. Another lesson in disentangling ourselves from the grand schemes we often then find ourselves disappointed about.


Come join us for our back to school get together where our focus will be on those people who do not know when or where shelter will be provided. If we dwell in Sukkot for a week we know that home is close by—not so for the homeless. The KE community will explore this year taking action to help the homeless.


1 Comment

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