Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Today we atone for our mistakes and ask forgiveness.

Today there is an accounting, a reckoning.

We are honest.

Martha Beck speaks of an “integrity cleanse.”

Bob Dylan asks “how many times must a man turn his head pretending he just doesn’t see?”

We look at reality and we can deny painful truths no longer.

I put down overeating, overdrinking, oversharing, overworking, overlearning.

I put down busyness.

I put down distraction.

I am still.

In his beautiful sermon today, our rabbi, Joe Black of Temple Emanuel in Denver urged us to “get woke.”

It is a term popularized by Black Lives Matter. We musk awaken and see where we behave badly. Where we are (or allow others to be) racist, classist, sexist, mean.

We stand up to bullies and bigots.

How can I be more informed, more sensitive, more willing to challenge the status quo?

And where must I challenge my own judgment, my own orthodox view of reality?

Anais Nin says “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

Look through the facade.

I must challenge the story I have about myself and the world.

I must question what I believe are my essential truths.

Even when it hurts

Even when I’m afraid.

I am woke.

I am broken.

I am willing.

Pema Chodron writes: “only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”

On this solemn day I still the frenzied doing, I quiet the chatter.

I am still. I turn inward.

I expose myself to annihilation.

I am woke.

Rabbi Black’s sermon can be found here: