By Rabbi Norman Lamm The Book of Ruth read on Shavuot is a beautiful and inspiring story, instructive to us in many ways. The story itself is fairly simple, and most of us are, or should be, well acquainted with…
by Yael Zoldan M.A. Do I ask God for another chance, a chance I know I don’t deserve?
Yom Kippur is here again and I am afraid.
I am not supposed to be afraid. I am supposed to be contemplative, thoughtful and driven to change. I am supposed to feel the privilege of Yom Kippur, the joy of standing before God, our Father and King, who wants to hear us and find us worthy. And I feel all of these things, I do. But mostly, deep down in my soul where the truth lies, I am afraid. The day of reckoning is here again. I have examined myself and I do not find myself worthy.
We are taught that we should find comfort in the thought of God as a loving parent. But this scares me too. Because I am a parent and even in my deep and abiding love for my children I have been snippy and snappish and angry and jealous and spiteful sometimes. I have fallen far short of the standard of mercy, kindness and righteousness that I expected of myself.
Our Sages say that God is our King and we are his servants and I am afraid. Because the world is full of violence and lewdness and inhumanity and its King must not like that.
Last year I stood in shul, dressed in white, and made all kinds of promises. With tears in my eyes and a hole in my heart I stood before my creator and I swore to be different, to be better. To be kinder and gentler, more patient, less judgmental. I meant every word. But as I look back at the year that passed I wonder: How many lies did I tell unknowingly, unwillingly as I stood before God on the holiest day of the year? And does He hold it against me?