A couple of nights ago, a friend asked me if I would be interested in coming to his temple for Koi Nidre services. Koi Nidre services are held on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I felt honored and privilege to accept his invitation. I must admit, I was a bit nervous because it would be my first time in a Jewish temple. But anyone who knows me well, I have always been intrigued with the Jewish faith because of my mother’s family history. My great-grandfather, an African-American was raised by a Jewish family in the late 1890s around the Plaquemine area in Louisiana. I always wondered what he thought and felt sitting in temple with his biological sister and their adoptive family.
My friend’s congregation, Beth Chayim Chadashim mirrored a little bit of heaven. When I walked in the front door, I felt their love and warmth. It seemed that the congregation had every hue of every color of the human rainbow in their temple. They are a model of hospitality for any place of worship. Within ten minutes of being there, I felt the tone for evening’s services had been set for me.
It was a very moving three hour experience hearing the prayers chanted and the songs sung that come from the Jewish tradition of Atonement. If I understand correctly, the Koi Nidre service is getting your heart ready for the next day full Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. I thought Senior Rabbi Lisa gave a beautiful sermon about hope and healing. She reminded her congregation that whatever they were dealing with at this present time, they must always remember that “this too shall pass.” Rabbi Lisa wanted to reinforce these important four words, so she created coins for us to carry and hold on to during this upcoming year. I’m curious about how the coins will look like at next year’s Koi Nidre service. I’m predicting that my coin will have the words rubbed off because I will be touching it so much.
There has been a lot going on this year. I have shared with people recently that I feel that I’m living out the Books of Ecclesiastics and Job. So, I’m not sure how “this too shall pass” will play out over the next few weeks, months and years. I will keep you posted as things come together. I will embrace this new year ahead.
Peace to You My Friends