Rosh Hashana, Vampire Slayer
I’ve been thinking a lot about Friday the 13th and its correlation to Kol Nidrei evening. These Days of Awe can be filled with darkness. We can often act like zombies in shul feeling disconnected to our liturgy. We can often feel like ark opening after ark opening, responsive reading upon responsive reading suck the life-blood out of the service. If only there were such a concept as a Jewish vampire slayer (Does Buffy count?!)
Last Friday I taught an early morning class entitled, “High Holiday Playbook” as we highlighted the value of Torah study on the second day of Rosh Hashana. While covering the 4 major themes of High Holiday liturgy (Kingship, Creation, Judgment and Remembrance), our conversation took a turn for the unusual when we somehow started talking about connections between our Jewish lunar calendar and vampires coming out at night. To get us back on track, we looked for a connection to light. In covering the topic of “Creation”, an obvious theme for the birthday of the world, we came across the theme of light found in the opening section of our Shaharit morning service:
“Infinite light stored away in life’s treasure house; ‘Light out of darkness’ said God- it was so.” The theme of light is common to every morning service, as we make reference to a divinity that fashions light and creates all. The line above, found only on the High Holidays, reiterates this notion but focuses on “Orot M’ofel”- creating light out of darkness. As we go through these days of awe, it is comforting to know that no matter what darkness seems to envelop our lives, we can create light even in the darkest of moments. No matter how scary life is, it becomes more and more significant that the light isn’t at the end of the tunnel, but in our very own hands. We have the capacity to create a year filled with light if we mimic the actions of God in this verse- if we create the mantra and affirm it. We will affirm to create light out of darkness, and it will be so.