Saturday, October 08, 2011
DAY OF ATONEMENT
FOOTBALL POOL UPDATE: MR KAEISER HAS THROWN THE CHALLENGE FLAG.
Many of you were puzzled as we were last week when Mr. Kaeiser picked the Panthers over his beloved Bears. After further review the ruling on the blog is reversed and Mr. Kaeiser indeed picked the Bears and we read his email completely wrong. Mr. Kaeiser picked a winning team and he remains alive in the pool. We have forwarded his original email to all players.
We regret any inconvenience in this matter.
FYI- most but not all of the picks are in and everyone save one player has picked the Giants. One person has picked the Saints.
For those of you about to end ten days of introspection with a day of fasting, we present to you one woman's Yom Kippur. The whole article is here.
For the last 18 years, my mother and I have spent Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, at Tod’s Point beach in Old Greenwich, Conn., near where I grew up and where my mother still lives. I’m a TV producer living in Brooklyn now, but I still go back every year. My mom reads my father’s old prayer book while I order lunch for us from the greasy concession stand that stays open into the fall, double hamburgers with grilled onions and French fries.
To those who fast during the holiday, our version of a High Holy Happy Meal might seem sacrilegious, but we didn’t always spend it this way. We used to go to temple like everyone else. But when I was 17, my father, who had just turned 59 and had suffered from depression for many years, shot himself in the head. The police found his body two days later, on the eve of Yom Kippur.
My last conversation with my father was right before I left to go to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. We hadn’t spoken in months, and even then, only briefly and with much tension. When he called, I had just read through my new student packet and was bursting with excitement about the future I was trying so hard to create for myself. But he just asked for the phone number at my mom’s new office. As was so often the case, he was distracted; he wasn’t really listening. And that’s when I told him that I hated him.
Before I hung up, he cried into the phone: “Why are you doing this to me?” Three weeks later, on Yom Kippur, my mother called to say he was dead.
In some way, I thought I understood. In Jewish tradition, each person’s fate is written for the coming year on Rosh Hashana and sealed on Yom Kippur after the “Days of Awe,” the 10-day period of repentance, prayer and requests for a good new year. I had always been spooked by the final Yom Kippur service, Ne’ilah — meaning, in Hebrew, “as the doors close” or “as the gates of heaven close.” I remembered the ark that held the Torah in our synagogue when I was a kid, how it was kept open during the prayer, and how serious it felt when the rabbi warned us that it was time for our final prayers, before the ark closed and sealed our fates for the following year.