I am wondering if any of you had gone to High Holy Day services for the first time this year, 2016 and what you thought of the services? We always find them pretty long and too much sitting and listening and not enough participation. We love the shofar blowing.
I'm sorry to say they were very lonely for me. There isn't really much of a Jewish community near me. The nearest town has an unaffiliated, lay-led congregation that was holding services I thought about attending, but I'm not out to my family yet about my desire to convert and I couldn't get away without explaining. I definitely felt a deep longing this year that I didn't feel last...which is actually sort of a good thing because it tells me that my interest in Judaism has only grown stronger over time. So I guess the High Holy Days this year have been meaningful for me.
I had a lovely time, but this was only my second time attending High Holy Day services. I ran the gauntlet on Yom Kippur - morning, afternoon, yahrzeit, and evening services with an adult education program in the afternoon. I fasted, and when we finally broke the fast at the end of the day it was almost euphoric...I guess it was simply delayed gratification, but that first bite of bread was such a welcome relief. I slept like a baby that night because the day was so emotionally charged-filled with new sites, sounds, tastes and people. I was drained by the time the evening service finished, but after a good night's sleep I felt a sort of high during the rest of the week. Almost like a pleasant spiritual aftertaste? Does that make sense? I can't believe we roll right into Sukkot.
Zachariah, it sounds like you had a fine day on Yom Kippur! That is so great. I wonder,Mandehble, if there are any Yom Kippur services on the internet. It is pretty long and involved. Perhaps you could read part of the service on your own until you get the chance to go to a service live...
There are some places which livestream services - let me see if I can dig up the links - I've never tried that so I don't have them saved, but somebody mentioned them a month or two ago. If I can remember who mentioned them, I can ask again!