I'm off to synagogue today and hence it will likely be quiet over here from me. But before I go, I wanted to share this eerie yet haunting song by Leonard Cohen that I heard on NPR's Speaking of Faith Days of Awe special the other day and haven't been able to get out of my head. It's a riff on a prayer (Unetaneh Tokef) that is said on Rosh HaShanah as well as on Yom Kippur. Though sad and a little creepy, it sure gets stuck in your head.
The text of the prayer that it draws from is translated as follows:
On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.
Terrifying. Yet what I like about these holidays is that they are pretty much full of hope. The liturgy tends to emphasize human responsibility and the possibility for change.
May this new year bring change for us as individuals, communities, and nations. And may our leaders in Washington DC come together on some kind of plan before things get much worse.