Mindfulness, Relationships, Religion

The trouble with sorry

The hardest thing for me to tolerate on Yom Kippur is not absence of food;

It’s the absence of tomorrow.

On Yom Kippur, we are present.

We are asked to let go of yesterday’s mistakes,

to forgive others, and ourselves.

We are solemn in our awareness of the gift of a clean slate.

Of a clean tomorrow.

But this is difficult for me. My busy mind.

Everyone else’s mind is busy with thoughts of food

of kippered salmon, of potato pancakes.

My mind is busy in judgment.

“Is she really sorry?”

“Is he really going to change his ways?”

“Am I?”

With so much sorry in my face, I feel compulsive in my doubt.

And incapable, more than any other day during the year, of casting away judgment.

And present only to my dilemma;

To sinning once again.



12 thoughts on “The trouble with sorry”

  1. For me, I think that forgiveness and self-improvement can’t be limited to Yom Kippur. I may realize during my fast that there are aspects of my life that I need to change, especially with regard to consideration of others, but I think it’s vital to my self-development to make this a part of my every-day mental approach. I think that your blogging shows such a sense of self-awareness that you’re doing it every day too, consciously or not.

    I love the fast. I use it reflect on all kinds of deeper matters with a clarity that I don’t get the rest of the year, and I think it actually feels good to be hungry. But I don’t feel that my slate is ever clean – I’m always going to have room for improvement, and I’m going to continue throughout my life to make mistakes that permit me more room for improvement.


    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful post. It really made me stop…and think… And smile… And reconsider. yes my mind is still busy but I promise that tomorrow I too will try to enjoy the fast and the time to intentionally reflect.


  2. Beautiful. But I still love ten days dedicated to introspection and making amends. It should carry on through the whole year but it’s a starting point. May we all do better as time goes by.


  3. You would have loved Nurit Novis Deutch’s dvar Torah. Maybe you can ask her to send it to you and we can read it together (to help each other with the Hebrew). She used driving a car as symbolic of seeing into the future (forward) and the past (rear view mirror) at the same time. She said it may be the only time in life that we actually have that unique opportunity to do so. She spoke about being on auto-pilot and how lucky that we have 25 hours of Yom Kippur to actually stop. Her recommendation was to take 1 hour of the 25, to stop. Pause. Not run. Not do. Just be. And, this would be a way to support all of us with our busy minds, to be silent for a bit and just listen. It was really beautiful. Thank you for your honest post.


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