atone poem
September 25, 2012 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Help this Reform-raised secular Buddhist-ish Jew observe Kol Nidrei alone! Right now! Unnecessary exclamation point!

I've always enjoyed the atonement/forgiveness/contemplation-ness of Yom Kippur, and doing the whole temple thing. I live away from my family, so I don't really do holidays in congregation anymore. Recently I've been doing a lot of reading of introspectively/mindfully-oriented texts (many drawing on Buddhism), which actually made me want to observe Yom Kippur more even than usual, because the spirit of the holiday feels very in line with that sort of thing to me.

So I sucked it up and went to Chabad tonight, and...hmm, hey, suuuuper not for me. I'm embarrassed to say I left the service after a short time. The gender segregation and messianic undertones felt deeply weird to me-- I'm all for new cultural experiences, but I was looking for nostalgic familiarity and/or mindfulness.

But I still really want to observe Kol Nidrei in some way, on my own! Any online resources I can use? Or not online but ones I can get ahold of quickly, somehow? Or just ideas of things to do? I grew up on the Gates of Prayer/Atonement siddur, so stuff like that would be cool. Doesn't need to even be Jewish, though, as long as it's something appropriate and ritualistic that hits on the YK themes. Stuff in a social justice/radical vein is extra extra credit. Feel free to get creative.

Thanks all; VERY BEST yontif.
posted by threeants to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in a similar situation- stuck on a business trip and will be spending KN in an airport.
I'll be listening to this Yo Yo Ma version of the music and then listening to the Leonard Cohen Who By Fire song.

here are some things I read that you might like too
1. about the origin of kol nidre
2. Post from a secular jew on a kol nidre poem
3. Adrienne Rich poem
4. more poems
posted by rmless at 6:54 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

haha, I just got back from a 2 1/2 hour Orthodox service...and I still wonder why I can't just do it on my own in 15 minutes. Maybe play some classical music.

Don't know about any online resources, but I thought I'd just echo Quisp Lover...I get nothing from going to shul or reading what I'm "supposed to read" or trying to feel what I'm "supposed to feel"...honestly, the most religious experience I had tonight was sitting in the window of the shul listening to the cantor through the wall and just thinking.

What do you want from Yom Kippur? What do you think God wants from you? What have you been wanting to say to him? I like to look through the siddur on my own and take my time on the parts I find meaningful (I never thought I'd be the person saying things like "meaningful"), and a lot of times it will take me off on a tangent that has nothing to do with what's written down, and that (imho) is where prayer actually begins.

If you don't have a machzor, do you have a siddur? If you don't have a siddur, do you have a book of psalms? (Psalms are easily found online...just sit down and start reading. You won't feel connected to all of it, or even most of it, probably. But there might be something there.)

Underneath the avuncular, secular-friendly image, what they are is actually a super extreme orthodox right-wing quasi-cult

Oh, be nice. I wouldn't call them a cult unless you're trying to call all right-wing Judaism a cult.
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 6:55 PM on September 25, 2012

Online services right now!
posted by Wordwoman at 7:37 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Moishe Oysher (a cantor with a stellar voice who appeared in several Yiddish films)'s version is available on youtube.

I didn't go tonight either; I miscalculated the date and bought a ticket for David Byrne. The show was good, but a friend killed herself last week and it would have been better for me to have the ritual. I'll go tomorrow.
posted by brujita at 7:44 PM on September 25, 2012

Well Kol Nidrei just ended, but tomorrow morning Central Synagogue (Reform and ritually progressive, lots of English and music) will live stream Yom Kippur services at 9am, 10:45am, and 3:15pm. The 9am service is the "Family" service geared toward grade-school-aged children. PDFs of the prayer books are posted as well.

Disclosure: I work there.
posted by thebazilist at 8:23 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

(Eastern/NYC time)
posted by thebazilist at 8:25 PM on September 25, 2012

How Buddhist are you? I think one equivalent would be the hundred-syllable mantra that's done for purification in Tibetan traditions.
posted by zadcat at 10:49 PM on September 25, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all!
posted by threeants at 6:19 PM on September 26, 2012

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