Tuesday, September 25, 2012


“On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: How many shall leave this world and how many shall be born into it, who shall live and who shall die, who shall live out the limit of his days and who shall not." - Una Tana Tokef

As a child, this prayer, a central part of the Yom Kippur liturgy, used to freak me out. The idea of our fate's being sealed on Yom Kippur, petrified me, I thought that since I had been bad, or told on my sister, or lied to my mom, etc etc. I wouldn't be written into the book of life for the next year.
Last year, though, I found a new view on this prayer and imagery. Rather than the idea that our fate is sealed, I now see that we seal one chapter of our life and move onto a new chapter. It's about letting go of the acts and events of the past year in one's life and moving onto a clean chapter for a new year.
I now love this notion, I visualized this as we sang the prayer on Rosh Hashanah. And since it's all about your own book you can learn from your past chapters. It's not about wiping the slate totally clean, it's about recalling the mistakes and lessons and learning from them. Using the past chapters in one's book to grow in the coming year.
Now, there's no need for me to fear Yom Kippur and my fate. I am in control of this year, with an exciting new start too. I have the power to learn from last year's chapter. I have the control to fill the blank pages of this new year's chapter my life.

With this in mind, I ask that if I have done anything to hurt or offend any of you, please forgive me.

G'mar chantimah tova, may we be sealed for a good (and sweet) year!

11 thoughts on the matter:

Secret Mom Thoughts said... {Reply}

Well said.

Buckeroomama said... {Reply}

That is a wonderful perspective to have, Tamar.

Danelle said... {Reply}

This is such a beautiful perspective. I love that you share your Jewish traditions on your blog. My great-great grandfather was a Jewish Rabbi in Latvia--my dad was actually named after him. We know very little about his life there except that he left because of communism (we don't even know exactly where he went). He was the last of my ancestors to practice the Jewish religion though, and I love learning about it because it helps me feel a little more connected to this ancestor of mine that I am fascinated by, but know so little about. So that's my very long-winded way of saying thanks for sharing! :)

shirley said... {Reply}

Wonderful thoughts - blessings for the coming year!

Renae said... {Reply}

That is reassuring for you and that is good! Thanks for sharing. I loved your photographs with the angles to view the pages indirectly. Nice touch. I'm glad my rainbow was joyful for you.

Kim C. said... {Reply}

Well, I think you are just precious. I've enjoyed getting little glimpses into your life.

Jade @ Tasting Grace said... {Reply}

What a lovely insight and a great way to approach a new year!

Anita Johnson said... {Reply}

Have a wonderful new year ahead, Tamar.

Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said... {Reply}

I love this idea. The hubs & I have been feeling a push to seal chapters & open new ones. We wonder what the Lord has in store for us- we try to listen for his guidance & follow it. Exciting to think what might be in the future.

Emily S said... {Reply}

Happy New Year to you! May it be the BEST!

Susan @ Sunflower Status said... {Reply}

Perfect! Love your new perspective, it makes much more sense.