Echoes of Elul, Day 1: A Confession For Our Time

By Rabbi David Lipper

Again, God?
It’s been a whole year since last yontif with You?
It seems like yesterday, that year ago.
I remember how I promised to show both You and myself
All the changes I’d make,
All the fine things I’d do,
As I sat here last yontif, as I sat here with You.

Those beautiful prayers, how they inspire me.
The idea that we could still grow – emotionally, spiritually.
The thought that I alone could make a difference in the world.
Such powerful words when I read them.
How committed I felt when I said them.

But I fear I have fallen short, God.
I fear I am the same person now I was then,
With the same limitations. The same struggles. The same inertia.
Shouldn’t I have changed by now?
“If not now, when?”
I thought there was nothing I couldn’t do
As I sat here last yontif, as I sat here with You.

Does this struggle not end? Must we forever be starting again?
And again?
And still again …
Asking forgiveness, confessing to sin?
Does this cycle have something to do
With why I’m compelled to come back to You?
To keep trying, right? We must keep trying. It is a process, right?
Crossing those deserts within?
A process. Not an end.
Well, if that is the case,
Don’t count me out, God, and neither shall I,
As again I look inward with an unblinking eye
And see all the kinks that keep me from growing,
All the defenses that keep me from knowing
I can do more than I’ve done this past year,
Maybe lessen the burden for the next time I’m here.

So with incomplete dreams and unfulfilled tasks,
With an emptiness I hide well behind masks,
Here I am, God, there’s still work to do,
As I sit here this yontif, as I sit here with You.

One Response to Echoes of Elul, Day 1: A Confession For Our Time

  1. Risè Kirbo August 10, 2021 at 2:57 pm #

    Universal, humble, and vulnerable – with a touch of Dr Seuss on the side! Well done, Rabbi and a great kick off to the Echoes of Elul!