Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yom Kippur. My watch stopped. Just as well.

We have a very-long-standing minhag/custom in our synagogue to light a six-candle candelabra in memory of the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah/Holocaust, plus a yahrzeit (anniversary-of-death) candle for each synagogue member who died between the previous year's Rosh HaShanah/Jewish New Year and this year's Rosh HaShanah, before the Kol Nidrei prayer. My watch battery lasted just long enough for me to insist to the president that licht-bentchen/z'man hadlakat nerot/candle-lighting time had already passed, and that our Shabbos goy should light the candles. So that's what happened, and everyone was happy.

It may be just as well that I found my watch no longer functioning on Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement morning. There isn't really much point in checking the time on Yom Kippur, since the services will last as long as they last. They really are quite interminable, if I may say so. Given the (lack of) speed at which I read Hebrew, I'm sorry to say that my efforts to keep up make it difficult for me to pray with any kavannah (focus) to speak of.

My husband got through Minchah/Afternoon Service somehow, though I told him that, if he were Baal Tefillah/prayer leader for Minchah again next year, he'd be well advised to spend less time listening to the chazzan/cantor's nusach (traditional melodies) tape and more time practicing the Hebrew. I cheated, as usual, going back and forth between Hebrew and English, so I had an easier time of it.

My fast wasn't too bad, and neither was my husband's. I hope your fast wasn't too bad, either.

I'm looking to Sukkot. Chag Sameach!


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