Friday, September 25, 2015

Yom Kippur - G'mar Hatima Tova

The Apple Pie Coffee Cake that I mentioned the other day tastes amazing. Sadly, I utterly destroyed it trying to flip it out of the pan. Whoops. I baked it, got showered & dressed, took it out of the oven, then went to get the boys up. That was where I went wrong. I forgot about it, letting it cool too long. When I tried to flip it out of the pan, it stuck because the gooey brown sugar apple pie filling. mixture hardened. I am going to remake it for Shabbat No'ar, but the recipe needs to be tweaked a little bit. It calls for you to have two layers of both the apple pie mixture & the cake batter, but there was barely enough apple pie mixture for one layer.

Yom Kippur services went smoothly, & Chavi sat through half of the days services before he needed a break. It is a very hard holiday, it is not a happy one. Many of the readings can bring up all sorts of emotions. I was proud of him it is an extremely long day, we were there for about ten hours.

Chavi needing a reprieve worked out fine for me, because I needed to go help in the kitchen at that point. J-Bird spent most of the day in the youth room, & joined us towards the end of the evening service. Working in the kitchen while fasting was hard, especially while chopping up a mountain of fruit. I think the hardest part was no water to drink, my mouth was so dry by the end of the day. It really made me think about the people who feel hunger & thirst everyday, with no relief in sight.

I always cry at the part of the service where they sing the song Shtiler, Shtiler - Quiet, Quiet. The song lyrics are a poem written by Shmerke Kaczerginski and the music is composed by then, 11 year old Alek Wolkovisk (he now goes by the name Tamir). They wrote & composed this song while in the Vilna Ghetto, outside of the city Ponary in Lithuania. The song tells the story of what was happening there.  Another part of the service that moves me is when they remember the children of Auschwitz.  Of the 15,000 children sent to Auschwitz, only 100 survived & none were under the age of 14. This year I also struggled with "When I turned 13" a, as my oldest will turn 13 in just a few days. The reading compares a boy becoming Bar Mitzvah today, with a boy becoming Bar Mitzvah during the Holocaust (this is always read by two boys who have just turned 13). When I look at my children, & think of those children it always breaks my heart all over again. This year I found it to be even more convicting because of the crisis the Syrian people are facing.

Yom Kippur is a time to remember our sorrows, to seek forgiveness, & to give it. As I enter this new year, I find myself searching for ways I can make it a more divine one. Not just for my children, but finding ways to help our community, along with those in our larger global society. What example do I want to set for my children? How can I demonstrate the love, patience, & compassion I want them to exhibit as they grow from children to men?

*this is not a Communist song, this was just the best vocal I could find*

Shtiler, Shtiler

Shtiler, shtiler lomir shvaygn
Kvorim vaksn do.
S'hobn zeyfarflantst si sonim:
Grinen zet tsum blo.
S'firn vegn tsu pona tsu,
S'firt keyn veg tsurik,
Iz der tate vu farshvundn
Un mit im dos glik.

Shtiler, kind mayns, veyn nit, oytser,
S'heift nit keyn geveyn,
Undzer umglik vein sonim
Say vi nit farshteyn.
S'hobn breges oykh di yamen,
S'hobn tfises oykhet tsamen,
Nor tsu undzer payn
Keyn bisl shayn.

Filing afn land gekumen,
Un undz harbst gebrakht.
Iz der tog haynt ful mit blumen,
Undz zet nor di nakht.
Goldikt shoyn der harbst af shtamen,
Blit in undz der tsar,
Blaybt faryosemt vu a mame,
S'kind geyt af ponar.
Vi di vilye a geshmidte
T'oykh geyokht in payn,
Tsien kries ayz durkh lite
Glaykh in yam arayn.
S'very der khoyshekh vu tserunen
Fun der fintster layktn zunen
Rayter, kum geshvind
Dikh ruft dayn kind.

Shtiler, shtiler, s'kvein kvain
Undz in harts arum.
Biz der toyer vet nit fain
Muzn mir zayn shtum.
Frey nit, kind, zikh, s'iz dayn shmeykhi
Itst far undz farrat,
Zol dem friling zen der soyne
Vi in harbst a blat.
Zol der kvai zikh ruik flisn
Shtiler zay un hof...
Mit der frayheyt kumt der tate
Shlof zhe, kind mayn, shlof
Vi der vilye a bafrayte,
Vi di baymer grin banayte
Laykht bald frayheyts-likht
Af dayn gezikht,
Af dayn gezikht.

Quiet, quiet, let's keep quiet
dead are growing here.
They were planted by the tyrant
see their bloom appear.
All the roads lead to Ponar now
there are no roads back,
and your father, to has vanished
and with him our luck.
Hush my child, don't cry my treasure,
tears no help command.
Our pain callous people,
would never understand.
Seas and oceans have their order,
prison also has it's border.
Our torment is endless,
is endless.

Spring has come,the earth receives her,
but brings to us the fall.
And the day is filled with flowers,
but darkness calls to us.
Autumn leaves with gold are softened.
In us grow deep scars,
and a mother somewhere orphaned,
her child, goes to Ponar.
Now the river too is prisoner,
and enmeshed in pain.
While the blocks of ice tear through her,
to the ocean strain.
Still, things frozen melt, remember,
warmth and cold winds too surrender.
The future brings a smile
I know your child calls,
I know your child calls.

Quiet, quiet, wells grow stronger
deep within our hearts.
Till the gates are no longer there,
no sound must we impart.
Child, rejoice not your smiling
is not allowed.
Let the foe encounter springtime,
as an Autumn cloud.
Let the well flow gently onward,
be silent and dream.
Coming freedom brings your father.
Slumber child, serene.
As the river liberated,
springtime green is celebrated.
Kindle freedom's light,
it is your right,
it is your right!