#BlogElul Day 29: Return

The first 15 pages or so of the “Gates of Repentance” machzor contain quotes and ideas which form my first recollection of “the High Holy Days”. Even as a restless teen, dreading the hours of boredom ahead of me and mind already spinning elaborate plans find my way to the freedom of friends and hallways outside the sanctuary, I still took time to read through the quotes, thoughts, and parables and reflect on their relevance in my life.

Even now, when my religious life has become more complex, this is the time of year when I pull the copy I still keep off the shelf and scan those few pages.

If, in the hours of davening to come, hours I no longer dread, I am unable to find even a moment of true kavannah, it is my hope that the moments when I return to simpler days and simpler ideas will suffice.

I know that this year there is little that I’ve written about which could be considered profound or sublime. In this past year, where writing has become such a large part of my daily life, I’ve come to peace with the fact that I will often repeat myself; often miss key facts that I will only think of later; often hold (and express) opinions which I will later regret.

Because the path to Teshuvah (literally “return”, as Rabbi Davidovich writes about today) is always open. I can always come back to an idea or essay and revisit, revise, and re-envision.

For those who’d like to revisit essays from this past Elul, here is a list with links to each:

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank a few specific people:

First, I am blessed beyond measure to have had the chance to marry my best friend. Without her, I would be lost adrift in the sea of madness and chaos.

Second, thank you to Phyllis Sommer (aka “Ima on (and off) the Bima”) for kicking this off year after year and generating both writing prompts AND enthusiasm

Third, to Rabbi Raphael Davidovich. This was his first year participating in #BlogElul, and I tried not to ape his thoughts too much. or without attribution. But like a good partner at the gym or a good chevruta (sorry, CHEVRUSA) at yeshiva, his work pushed me to do my best as well even when I might have been more lenient with myself.

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