Since I'm unofficially a quarter Jewish, I feel blessed to be able to participate with my Jewish friends and family in many of their ceremonies.
Our friend Michael held a Spiritual retreat for Yom Kippur at Holmby Park in Bel Air a few years ago that I was lucky enough to share in. It was a beautiful time to cleanse the energy of the past, and rest in the oneness of spirit and community alongside the trees and the grass and the breeze all calling forth a joining, a unity and most importantly a clearing of that which we no longer have to carry.
V'ahavta I'rayakha ~ and you shall have love in your heart,
V'ahavta kamokha ~ for yourself and your friends,
V'ahavta ani hashem ~ to create a world of hope and peace,
Today I think of all my friends, past and present, I think of my family, I think about the many people I have met as I travel through the world, I think about a lot of things. But mostly, I think about how grateful I am, grateful to be able to experience grace and humor and love, everyday.
Each of us finds our own way on the path of the peaceful spiritual warrior, "capable of wrestling with Life without being defeated by living."
This past year I have been the beneficiary of a huge mitzvot. The mitzvot of learning how to love myself by loving all of you, and I thank you.
Tomorrow is a new day, but for this moment, I wanted to honor and celebrate the truth... I wanted to ask forgiveness for all the transgressions, known and unknown. I want to atone for all interactions that were not filled with love.
We live in a world full of love, and spirit and vitality and most importantly eternal joy.
I look forward to seeing what lays ahead.
Today's invocation of spirit from the Machzor for Yom Kippur
May the grace of God
ascend within us, open our ears,
open our hearts and minds,
to the flame of our ancestors,
to the flame of the Messiah,
to our people Israel,
to all humankind.
We open to the cleansing energy within us
the Power of purification present in every age:
Let it clear out the debris;
let it wash away our mistakes and our suffering,
so we may truly see, as it teaches,
"I, only I, Self of your self,
erase your lack of faith in your Self,
and I do this to make known
my reality through you.
Your mistakes I will not recall.
Indeed, I have swept away your mistakes
like clouds blown away,
like mist that vanishes.
Turn to me-- I have already freed you!"
For you have been promised:
"On this day a-mending will be made for you,
to cleanse you from all your mistakes.
Before the Infinite you shall be clear."
Our Power and Power of our parents,
Let us make our lives holy
through deeds of justice, love and joy.
Let us make our part in the Torah.
Let us enjoy God's world
and rejoice in freedom.
May our prayers
open our eyes and expand our vision,
revealing your divine plan
whose path leads us all to the holy of holies.
May our heartfelt prayers be a conduit
swiftly carrying us to the time
when all Israel, all peoples, serve the divine plan.
May our eyes witness the return of Your Presence
awakening the world to your Presence
through our deeds of goodness.
We will continue to offer thanks
to the eternal One,
steadfast Source of strength
throughout all generations,
for our lives which rest in Your embrace,
for our souls which are in Your care,
for the miracles and wonders
which greet us day after day,
Allow me the grace to invite total forgiveness into my heart to wash away all that no longer serves.
Allow me to embrace life in love with all that is.
Allow me your light to radiate through me in a feast of forgiveness.
Allow me to be me.