I have never felt so strongly on motzoi Yom Kippur before. I cannot place the exact cause of my feelings but I am distraught at a many things, firstly how I can go from begging forgiveness from the Almighty and then after a bagel and cup of orange juice be warped right back into my sin filled existence? How can I go from pounding myself endlessly on my chest to checking my email and listening to Ray Charles as I am doing at this moment, just 1 hour ago I was saying Niela the last chance to get your teshuva in and now I am once again my same self as if nothing has changed.
Upon closer examination I realized something has changed, in fact it’s something that I have overlooked 20 some odd other Yom Kippur’s in my past. The fact that I am actually distraught over leaving Yom Kippur and returning to normal life is a big step for me I have come to realize over the past 20 minutes or so of arguing with myself on how to start the new year off especially since it falls out on a Saturday night.
I sat in shull wondering these same things although I did not get distraught until walking home from shull with my roommate. I sat in shull wielding my cream cheese covered knife in an attempt to eat and spread and the same time that was not working as well as I imagined it would, balancing the cup of orange juice on one of those flimsy chairs people use to set up a makeshift minyan wasn’t working so well either, and that’s when I overheard the conversation next to me. Several college students who had just spent the entire day were talking about what to do that night, one of them spoke up for the rest of them saying that whatever they did, they sure had better get some pizza first, and then bar or club choice could be settled afterward.
At first I felt kind of angry at what I had heard, angry and sad, how could people who just spent the entire day asking for forgiveness, leave the kings palace and go against him right afterwards? Was there any justice in the world? They should surely be smitten down as the red birbaums told us they would be. But then I countered that argument in my head with this, these students gave up a precious Saturday to be in shull praying to Hashem, whether or not they knew what they were doing is one thing, but the fact they had enough connection and 150 of them had that “pintela yid” as they call it to come and seek something from being in shull. So they donned their nice clothing usually used for semi-formals and donned their white yarmulkes and ventured to shull.
Of course this had not answered my question; I really don’t like just going from the holiest day, to just plain old weekday or weekend in this case. I wish there was some sort of way to release the buildup slowly, like a pressure gauge or something, even Purim another one day holiday has shushan purim. But Yom Kippur has nothing for several days until succos and even succos is a rather relaxed holiday compared to Yom Kippur.
As I was thinking all these things my roommate announced that he was going to the coffee shop to get some work done. I was typing away and asked him if he wanted a ride. I didn’t want to give him a ride, but in my head I said- “This is God’s way of telling me how to start the year off right” What could be better then starting the year off with an act of chesed, my roommate had been planning on taking the bus- it’s a mile away but the bus would take 40 minutes with all the waiting and all. I feel better somewhat, although I find myself wondering if there is anything else good that can be done to start the new year off.