osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,
osewalrus
osewalrus

It Is The Great And Terrible Day!

So not ready.
"The shofar will sound, and the still small voice will be heard. The Angels themselves will be seized with trembling and great terror and they shall say 'Behold, it is the Day of Judgment! All the Heavenly Host must attend on the Day of of Judgment!' For even they re imperfect in your sight."

I find Rosh Hashanna terrifying. Mind, I love Yom Kippur. Yes, I know it's supposed to be the opposite. But Yom Kippur for me is summed up by R' Akiva's dictum "Happy are you oh Israel, for the Lord is your mikvah. As it is written 'Before the Lord you shall be purified.'" But Rosh Hashanna is different. It is intensely impersonal and uniquely personal. It is the Great and Terrible Day of Judgment. It is the day, in Kipling's words, "to abide the twin damnations/to fail and know we failed." It is to stand before the Most High and know, know each and every way I have not lived up to the potential God has given me. And to know He knows, and to see all the rationalizations and self-deceptions which I comfort and excuse myself with during the year are mercilessly stripped away. That God tempers judgment with mercy makes this worse, not better, for it is the disappointment not only with myself but to have failed in the trust and kindness given by God that is most bitter.

Which is partly why I find Yom Kippur such a relief and over all happy occasion. That God, in His Mercy, gives us a special day to atone for our sins is astounding and delightful. Whatever God gives, He will give, and while I would find a reversal of my good fortune personally unpleasant I can hardly complain it is unjust. To date, I have lived better than 99.9% of the people of the world.

No, it is Rosh Hashanna I dread. I start worrying round Peasach time. By the 9th of Av, I'm seriously worried. Now it is full blown panic.
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