Wednesday, October 12, 2005

We Are Guilty, Oh Lord 

An important part of the Yom Kippur service is the "Vidui" (Viduy) or confession. The confessions serve to help reflect on ones misdeeds and to confess them verbally is part of the formal repentance in asking G-d's forgiveness. Because community and unity are an important part of Jewish Life, the confessions are said in the plural (We are guilty).
-- High Holy Days on the Net

We are guilty, O Lord
of pride in a job well done,
even when it comes at the expense of others.

We are guilty of playing to our strengths.

We are guilty of selective perception,
and of situational ethics; of faintheartedness
and ignorance.

We choose those tasks more visible
so that we might garner more recognition and praise.

We are guilty of passivity,
of not taking the initiative,
of falling too easily into the role of innocent bystander,
of witholding support and love until we are shamed into offering it.

We protect ourselves.
We pretend we have not heard when we have heard.

We forget that you do not expect us to be perfect.
We get frustrated by our limitations
and neglect to celebrate our differences.

We covet the self we think we should be.

Sometimes, at the end of a long day,
we fantasize about a different life
in a different town.

We dream of paths not taken
when we are supposed to be listening to our inner selves
reflected in the outer world.

We are guilty, O Lord,
of presumption in all things.

We write for others more than we write for ourselves.

We share because it allows us to talk about ourselves.
We pray, and never think to ask
if now is a good time for you.

We use humor as a crutch.
We watch ourselves using language as a shield.

Even now, we are guilty. Our chutzpah shames us.

We do not stop when we should.
We go on far too long, thinking only of ourselves.
Yet we do not take every opportunity to change.

Help us, O Lord, to forgive ourselves
for these transgressions, and for a hundred more.
Help us to remain warm and human in the face of humanity.

May we be inscribed in the book of life
that we may atone for our sins.

May we continue to learn and grow.

May we wander yet another year
in your grace, and in our own.

posted by boyhowdy | 7:42 PM |

This is awesome. Did you write this?
Glad you like it, Rachel.

I did write it, actually. Writing this, and penning (and acting out the events of) the subsequent entry, WAS my worship this year, for reasons both deliberate and situational.

It certainly FELT right, but you know how that is.
Thank you for writting that. It is beautiful.
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