These are the Jewish High Holy Days, or Days of Awe. I'm trying to observe them as diligently as I do Advent and Lent. My dad's third wife was an amazing woman who happened to be Jewish, she inspired all of us to learn more about Judaism; the more we learned, the sibs and me, the more we felt drawn toward observance. My sister even converted, and kept a Kosher house-she taught me to as well.
Today I Googled The Book of Life expecting to find all kinds of information available. To my surprise no Jewish links came up.
I do not know why I'm surprised. Twenty-one years ago, just before he died, my dad told me what was coming and revival of the pogroms was on the list of things he talked about.
He also said airplane travel would become more dangerous-he was emphatic that I not try to renew training to earn my private pilot license. He said the corridor I planned to fly would become "too dangerous within ten years" and he was right. Ten years after he died planes began crashing with increasing frequency-in the very flight corridor I hoped to fly.
I miss flying. We had a couple of planes when I was growing up, and I miss them both. I learned to fly in the Cessna 150, and was looking forward to permission to fly the 172. Too bad my dad's business partner Alex belly flopped it before I could.
But more than anything about those days, I miss my dad's advice. I need it more than ever now.
Pop wasn't especially religious, but he was faithful. So he never talked about Armageddon, or End Times, or even Y2K. He just put two and two together and then passed it on to me.
I guess what made it so very profound to me is that since 1970, I'd been thinking along the same lines, and like Dad, without any real religious overtones. But faithfully. Oh yes, faithfully.
God promised us our freedom-even if it meant standing by and watching us do one or many acts of incomprehensible evil. This has always explained the seemingly inexplicable to me. I do not believe God sends any person to life to die of murder, war, poverty...I believe His angels are with both victim and perp, comforting and advising one on the best way to escape, survive, cope; and the other that this action is grievious and that the perp should turn back from it. The whisper heard is a matter of choice-freedom. This is the greatest gift God bestows.
(Oh Frank, how I wish I could have got that across to you before you died in such agony over the way your Cindy was murdered! My failure haunts me; did you open your heart to God's comfort or do you wander lost in the fog?)
The Lord told our forbearers that he would leave us to our own devices should we turn away from Him and His divine assistance. I have to say that I truly have come to believe these are the times he sent Jesus to warn us would come if we didn't turn back.
So, during these High Holy Days, I have been examining my life, all of it, not just the past year. I want to live. To live is to Hope, and I will not give up Hope for me or for anyone else. I want to be sealed into The Book of Life. Although I know people I'd prefer not to have to socialize with in Heaven, I am glad to feel ashamed that for a brief moment I begrudged Crusty his God given right to God's mercy.
So Crusty, if you are reading this-should you somehow manage to earn God's mercy and you see me coming on the streets of Heaven, cross the street. I don't hope you go to Hell, but not even if Hell freezes over do I ever want to have to see you again.
OK, that said, I am thinking about what items of modern life I can not live without-antibiotic ointment, fabric band-aids, deoderant...Because the Crustys are legion, and they made this horrific and miserable imitation of life. (That they also want to hedge their bets is another blog entry)
And things are going to get worse before they get better. I think the 1929 crash is going to look like nothing compared to what is coming.
I don't want to think about these things, I want to think about how beautiful autumn is up here, and how I am have some little spark of interest going on a couple of things, and how to improve my work, and personal life...