Yesterday I completed, formatted, printed, and sent off The Yearly T'ruah, the Winicur family newsletter. I had set a goal of getting them in the mail before Yom Kippur, and I did it. Saturday afternoon, I stuffed about 25 High Holiday greeting cards in the mailbox. Never mind that they won't be sent out till Monday. I set my High Holidays goal and hit it.
I'm sure there is a greater lesson to be found here about waiting until the last minute to seek God's forgiveness on Yom Kippur when we had the entire year to make amends. If it weren't so late in the evening, I'm sure I could come up with a fascinating parable or amusing story to illustrate this.
Maybe the simple explanation is that Yom Kippur is our deadline for atonement and amends. Yom Kippur is the stop production, go to press, put your money down, show your cards moment when there are no more excuses. We have to face the new year with whatever we have. For one day, we stop all work, stop all pleasure, and reset our spiritual clocks. And then the deadline passes, and we can get on with our lives.
For all of you fasting, may you have an easy fast. For all of you reflecting, may you find peace in the new year.
And for all of you reading The Yearly T'ruah...may you not do any spit takes in public.