Three psalms from Leonard Cohen before Yom Kippur
Longing and belonging (a sermon for Kol Nidre 5775)

Before Yom Kippur

Prayer Before Yom Kippur

I now prepare
to unify my whole self—


with this holy community
with the Jewish people everywhere
with all people everywhere
with all life and being
to commune with the Source of all being.

May I find the words,
the music, the movements
that will put me in touch
with the great light of God.

May the rungs of insight and joy
that I reach in my devotion
flow from me to others
and fill all my actions in the world.

May the beauty of God rest upon us.
May God establish the works of our hands.
And may the works of our hands establish God.

(Rabbi Burt Jacobson)

Yom Kippur begins tonight and will continue through tomorrow night. This year it once again coincides with Shabbat -- the two holiest days of the year, layered atop each other.

May this doubly-holy day offer all of us opportunities for inner work and transformation.

I hope that you can forgive me for my imperfections this past year: times when I wrote something you didn't like, or failed to write about something you consider important; times when I didn't respond to comments or didn't do so quickly enough; times when my writing revealed unconscious racism or was hurtful in other ways.

For my part, I have done my best to let go of my internet-related frustrations from the old year -- the posts and emails and comments which were hurtful or frustrating for me -- and aspire to move into Yom Kippur bearing no grudges, with no cosmic or karmic baggage weighing me down or blocking my journey of teshuvah.

May this Shabbat-and-Yom Kippur be meaningful, real, and sweet. G'mar chatimah tovah -- may we all be sealed for good in the year to come.