Yom Kippur 5781 has zoomed into history. The impact of communal repentance while separated by a pandemic will be with us for years to come. The experience was different (that's a Minnesota different) with pluses and minuses: the Senior Son was "present" from Milwaukee, with my video off, I could move when I got shpilkes and still daven, machzor in hand. On the negative side, some of the ambient noise during sensitive parts of the liturgy (especially Yizkor, the memorial service)was disconcerting at best, exceptionally annoying at times. Of course, Ziggy still isn't there to scratch my back when I get an itch, or lend me a shoulder when I'm yawning. But that's an ongoing complaint.
If you're unfamiliar with Yom Kippur, there's a Wiki link for that. It's not the simplest holiday on the planet to explain; it's deeply rooted in the Jewish philosophy of what constitutes repentance. And when we confess out sins, it's as a community, not as an individual, everyone is included. Which, when you think about it, is an awesome responsibility. But it also means admitting to oneself where one failed, and how one can do better.
The best thing YK gave me this year was 26 hours out of the news cycle. For that small amount of time, I occasionally wondered what was happening, but I didn't care enough to turn on the television, not even when I woke up...and CBS Morning News "Your World In 90 Seconds" is usually the first thing I see before I pop into my study for morning minyan. Part of me would like to extend that little bubble for a few days, but alas, I have a blog to write tonight...even if all day was the most solemn day of the year.
Another thing about Yom Kippur is the required self-assessment. There was a lot to review from this year, most of which contributed to my decision to retire ahead of schedule. At the same time, I had an entire new life begin back in March, and I am still trying to figure out the finer details of being a person of some leisure....quarantine not withstanding. This alone makes year-in-review an interesting challenge.
Can't say I expected anything less ridiculous from a piss-ant wanna-be dictator. But sure, I'll take a urine test. You first.