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On This Yom Kippur

Prayers in the darkness

Hi APW,

I’m out tomorrow for Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. It means that I’ll be praying and fasting all day… and not working. So APW is going dark this year as I observe that holiday. (It’s hard to fully unplug my brain from work, if I know we’re still publishing things on the internet.)

I never know how much I should, or want to, talk about what it feels like to deal with a rising tide of anti-semitism here on APW. I talk about it quite a bit on my personal Instagram, but I’m never sure how much of that activism, sorrow, and fear I want to bring into this space… born out of my own joyful Jewish wedding. But I will say that this week I was deeply shaken by anti-semitism on display by the progressive left right here in Oakland, not to mention the violent progressive anti-semitism that was all over my Instagram feed this week. And now I’m walking into a religious space that we know is in danger from the far right. It’s isolating, and scary.

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It is a terrifying time to be Jewish all over the world. It’s a terrifying time to walk into Jewish religious services. It is hard, and it is dark. But as evening falls tonight, I will walk into that place of prayer, atonement, and deep introspection. As the sky darkens, we’ll hear the first cords of Kol Nidre on the cello, and we’ll know that it’s time to forgive ourselves, and others, and return home to our souls.

For those of you observing, Shana Tova, and may you have a meaningful fast. I’m praying for all of us to find some light in what feels like ever-increasing darkness.

Meg

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