Friday, September 21, 2007

528. Rosh Hashanah 5768, part 3

This past Shabbat I also learned about a Hasidic interpretation of the beginning of the haftarah for Shabbat Shuvah (Hosea 14:2), which reads:

"Shuvah, Yisrael, ad Adonai Eloheha.."

"Return, O Israel, to Adonai your God..."

But (says the interpretation) what if we read the word "ad" as "ed", "witness"? Would that mean God is our witness--or Israel? The rabbi suggested thinking and acting as if both were true. What if everything we try to hide, our lies, our self-deceptions, were transparent both to God and fellow humans alike? How would this change our lives and our choices?

I think I feel naked when I lead services because I know that everyone is my witness. I wish I could remember the feeling during the rest of my life. Maybe this is why I've spent so much time singing in choirs, where it's easy--preferred, even--to blend into the crowd. Sometimes up at the bima I try to hide behind the music, but it never works; I'm not a good enough actor. When I sing and pray at the same time, I'm a pomegranate split open with my seeds falling out. If today really is a day to reciprocate God's action and open myself up, I look forward to filling those newly-emptied spaces with hope and strength.

And I wish the same for everyone reading this. G'mar chatima tovah.


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

Thanks you for stopping by my blog. I live in a neighborhood that is home to a great many othordox and non-orthodox Jews. My neighbors across the the street the Katz' have 4 children who play wiht my 4 kids--I go over on the high holidays to turn on the stove :) She keeps me in non-dairy treats...things that are paerve. I have a great many jewish friends and are always invited for Friday shabat. My chilren have gone to synogague and know a great many jewish prayers. I am honored that you have found my blog. Mosel Tov!

alto artist said...

Thank you so much!!