17 September 2006

Set Adrift in Foreign Lands

Some people are set on fire by slichot (the penitential prayers leading up to Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur.) The best I usually do is slog through them. I'd be much more open to some sort of active exploration of how to improve myself and what I've done wrong in the past - almost any sort of searching. The heavy poetry and page after page of words words words doesn't do it for me. I've got to set aside time to do the real work of Tshuva, but with early morning slichot and a full schedule - how am I supposed to work it in?

Yours truly,
Searching in Jerusalem


MC Aryeh said...

The tshuva of sleep and dreams...and eating and going to the bathroom and walking and talking and screaming silently and out loud in forests...

WanderingStu said...

actually the Torah we've been learning (ahem- they've been learning) in Likutei Mohoran (#35), has something to do with sleep. actually sleep and spiritual/intellectual/emotional sleep as a way to refresh, do Tshuvah...

If slichot have been a problem for you, just do what i did-- get depressed, get a cold, and get in bed for a few days... ahem.

the two times i went to Slichot so far, i focused on the rhythm and the rhyme to get myself into a bit of a state. it was easier the first night, but not impossible at 5:30am... every now and then a relevant phrase whizzes by, and you take it full on in the chest, BLAM!!! the time i've lost! WHACK!!! the tear stains on my cheeks!--- by the time you get to the Aneinus, you can just spin out on all the wild things we call God that don't ever seem to be said, like "strength of the Mothers" or something like that. then that whole span of history thru the lens of Hashem rescuing Yidden- Jonah in the belly, Daniel in the Lion's den... snap yourself into place with that continuum, and get youself saved!

even though we've been talking so much about the personal side of tshuvah, me and you-- how to do it, how to make it MINE---

the Slichot bring out another part of the whole thing-- that GOD is involved here, that the details of your deeds are, to some degree, irrelevant, and what matters is the crying out, and the awareness that your crying out, sweet Lev, is one tiny but crucial voice in a crying out that has been going on for 5766 years, 11 months and about 28 days... join in!