#BlogElul 20: Judge









God as judge
the defining focus of
the Yamim Noraim
the reason to move
toward teshuvah
to be assured a place
in the Book of Life
for another year.

To be judged unworthy
given the death penalty
feels unutterably harsh
even un-Godlike
something I have
struggled with
battling with God
for much of my life.

Suddenly today
I felt a shift in my soul
in my brain
about judgment
away from the negative
connotation of cruel
determinations of
good and evil.

We need judgment
as we walk through our
lives each day.
Is this person good for me?
Am I safe walking here?
Is my anger disproportionate?
The judgments we make
inform our lives.

Do my judgments
about myself and others
situations I put myself in
the food I eat
put me on a positive path
give me hope for longer life
healthier life
more meaningful life?

If I exercise poor judgment
is it not my responsibility
to improve myself
to notice and take action
to reform old ways
create new paths
help myself live better?

It is teshuvah
myself as judge
God looking over my shoulder
witness to my introspection
guide to my honest exploration
nodding at what I have learned
holding out a metaphorical hand
as I move into a new year.

I’ve decided to participate for the first time in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. I’ve never had the courage to get my feet wet – this year, I’m jumping into the deep end of the pool! Check out some of the amazing  themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read last year’s and this year’s #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
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