Day 21 – Two Reflections on Words and Deeds

21 Elul 5775

Yom Kippur & Repentance
by Larry Noell

I share these quotes with you because they capture the essence of why I observe Yom Kippur -­‐ our day of atonement. Each quote is from a different historical era and discipline. To me, they are significant because they demonstrate that in spite of our technological prowess, emotionally we haven’t changed much from the ancients -­‐ we still wrestle with many of the same weaknesses our ancestors so eloquently wrote about thousands of years ago.


Italian Proverb
“All criminals turn preachers when they are under the gallows.”

1st C. B.C.
Tears gratify a savage nature, they do not melt it. Publilius Syrus, Moral Sayings,

C. A.D. 8
Pleasure is sweetest when paid for by another’s pain. Ovid, The Art of Love

Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes to bitter consciousness during adversity. Rousseau, Confessions

The repentance of man is accepted by God as virtue. Voltaire, “Expiation” Philosophical Dictionary

He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend. Sir Henry Taylor, Philip Van Artevelde

If you behaved badly, repent; make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrong doing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Remorse is impotence; it will sin again. Only repentance is strong; it can end everything. Henry Miller, Seraphita

Musings ~ Comments ~ Thoughts:
Throughout life’s journey, I have learned repentance is for those who believe. For those who don’t there’s no exit, no grace, no solace. This is just how things are. It’s Gd’s franchise. Take it or leave it…your choice.

In elementary school I was taught that ”sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” It’s a lie. Words and deeds always have consequences.


To Be Aware is To be Listening
by Jack Millis and Robert Nunez

As many people know, Robert and I met through the theatre community.  We continue to make it a large part of our lives, but now we are blessed to be able to say that we have been embraced into the TBS family.  When searching for something to contribute to Echoes of Elul, we wanted something that would represent where we met and where we became a family. The following is a portion from an essay by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of Angels in America:

Your lover complains, or is sad. Listen attentively to each ululation, to each keening note of your lover’s lament. What matter if you’ve heard it all before, only last week, only last night even, and you’re bored? Listen as though your lover had sat down and delivered a spontaneous exegesis on Grief worthy of Montaigne or Browne or Emerson. Find different kinds of listening expressions, too, be inventive, and be careful that the look you imagine expressive of rapt attentiveness isn’t becoming a glazed fixed stare.

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