Monday, October 02, 2006

A Thought for the New Year

Tonight I am more tired than I can ever remember being. My role as the co-chair of the Temple Micah High Holy Days has reached its end, except for the documentation. The many services happened without a major glitch. There were little emergencies, like one person who sliced his head open on a stone abutment in the church, another woman who fainted while fasting, but in terms of the services themselves, no real problems. By 7:00 tonight, everyone was more than ready for a break-the-fast.

One particular prayer tugged at my heart today, so I’ll share it with you:
***********************************************************
Ki Hinei Chachomeir

As clay in the hand of the potter, to be thickened or thinned
at will, are we in Your hand. Preserve us with Your love.

Your covenant recall, and not our imperfection.

As stone in the hand of the mason, to be broken or preserved
at will, are we in Your hand. Author of life and death.

Your covenant recall, and not our imperfection.

As iron in the hand of the blacksmith, to be thrust into fire
or withdrawn at will, are we in Your hand. Help us to heal
our wounds with deeds of charity.

Your covenant recall, and not our imperfection.

As a rudder in the hands of the sailor, to be guided or
abandoned at will, are we in Your hand. Prevent our constant
drifting.

Your covenant recall, and not our imperfection.

As glass in the hand of the glazier, to be melted or shaped at
will, are we in Your hand. Maintain our fragile balance with
Your grace.
***********************************************************

I view the new year as a clean slate, accepting the inevitability of my imperfections and hoping for some guidance from a higher power as I continue to muddle through life.

9 Comments:

Blogger wharman said...

Congratulations and happy new year.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I like all the analogies used in this prayer for our shaping. Happy New Year! Happy Clean Slate! Think of what might be on that slate this time next year!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Wendy -- A very tired thank you!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- Unfortunately the good and the bad get recorded on the slate. I'll just have to hope for more good than bad!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

You always do more good than bad, always!! Hey congratulations on surviving your stint as organizer. You know they're going to beg you to do it next year again because you did such a fantastic job.

Beautiful prayer!! Bravo and happy new year!!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

As a Roman Catholic, the form of the prayer is familiar (not terribly surprising since the Catholic liturgy is heavily based on the Jewish liturgy), however, I find the response interesting.

Normally, I would expect either, "Lord, have mercy" or "Lord, hear our prayer".

The given response here, "Your covenant recall, and not out imperfection.", in my mind seems to put responsibility on God for recalling his covenant, rather than on the people for reducing their imperfection.

May you have a holy and blessed new year.

12:18 PM  
Blogger steve said...

I don't know much about either Faith, but Richards comment crossed my mind as well. I thought that possibly the prayer was not reminding god to remember and forgive us...so much as... it was exhorting US not to forget the Covenant, and forgive ourselves.
hers to clean slates!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Wishing you the happiest of new years. Thank you for sharing the prayer.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Thank you, sistah! And yes I have already agreed to do this one more year. It should be so much easier the second time.

Richard, Steve -- Thanks for these interesting interpretations of the imperfections thing. I feel comforted by the notion that imperfections are tolerated and even expected. I especially like the idea that perhaps we are being asked to forgive ourselves. We often tend to beat ourselves up, so this is particularly appealing.

Kristin -- This is just one of many beautiful prayers. I love what this holiday symbolizes. I love the idea of getting a chance to start over again.

9:43 PM  

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