SHAME ON US: For writing a piece on co-existing and understanding and not noting that the Muslin and Druze feast of the Sacrifice Eid al-Adha falls on the same day as Yom Kippur. Maybe there's a message in the convergence of religious holidays.
Tonight is the service of Kol Nidre, which as we understand it, is an ancient ceremony whereupon people who were forced into debts or promises against their will are relieved of such obligations. It is a ceremony unique to oppressed people and slaves.
How could is such an ancient ceremony relevant in 2014?
What are we now forced to do or forced to promise that we need the intervention of the almighty?
Earlier this year we tried a lengthy federal trial and one after another, the government marched in pathetic individuals, shackled, in prison khakis, who shamefully admitted their part in an insurance scam. These were bit players, who were paid $500.00 or a $1,000.00 to participate in a small way in a very large fraud. What struck us was that they all were sentenced to between two and four years for their actions, and now, as part of the contract they entered into with an Assistant United States Attorney out for the blood of our client, they came to court and testified. None of them looked very happy, and when we asked each one of them if they regretted entering into a deal with the government- a question we had no idea how the witness would answer- each of them said "yes". And it was during that trial that we thought of Kol Nidre.
There is still too much suffering going on in the world. Arabs shoot missiles at Israel and Israel responds by bombing and killing Arab children- clearly unintentionally, but they are dead nevertheless. The cycle of violence continues for another generation; hatred born out of the loss of a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, father, mother or wife. Perhaps a ceremony that releases nations from obligations of violence and hatred and war is in order?
We get up and work at jobs that may be satisfying, or drudgery. We scramble to pay bills, satisfy clients, collect money, take care of children or parents or both, and life passes by slowly and yet at rocket speed. The notion that we will have time to do that- whatever that is, becomes less sure, and more surreal. Perhaps we need a ceremony to release us from the mundane obligations that turn life into work, and work into life?
From dealing with cooperating witnesses to understanding geo-political events to the close introspection of our daily life, these next few days can be a time of renewal, or they can be wasted in going though the motions of prayer and hunger and thirst. Whatever life it, we know this- it doesn't wait for us to live it. It ticks by, second by second, until one day we wonder "where did the time go?"
Don't wake up one day with that awful question.
Enjoy your weekend. And for those fasting, have an easy fast.
See you in court.
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