Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Yamim Noraim II

The lessons are going well so far.

Lesson 1:
-Talked about the difference between teshuva, selicha, and kapara.  Used a basic metaphor of me stealing from her and how all those elements would play out.
-Talked about how a day for kapara is useful to the Jewish people
-Talked about the idea of 10 days of teshuva
-Talked about how the theme of Rosh Hashana is Hashem as Melech (framed it as "Man is not melech" because of her agnostic tendencies).  Looked at piyut of Melech Elyon/Melech Evyon.  She enjoyed the death imagery.
-Talked about how Rosh Hashana is "New Year, New me" (her catchphrase)
-Left with question of why the theme for "New year, new me" would be "I am not King"

Lesson 2:
Went through Rambam Hil Teshuva 2:8-9 about how teshuva is especially good this time of the year.  She read reluctantly because it has no nekudos (she did well) and she translated with me helping out a bit.  Talked about the benefit of having a national time to focus on teshuva.

I made a list of the things I wanted to cover:
shacharis shemona esrei
musaf shemona esrei
torah readings
avinu malkeinu
concepts of shofar

Then we began talking about what her plan was for davening on Rosh Hashana.  I wanted her to try to stay in shul for the whole time.  And at this point, we began to have a classic teenage/mother interaction.  Sometimes I feel like I am saying things because I care about her and love her, and it's so frustrating because she is just finding me irritating and annoying.  And the more I talk because the more I am concerned, the more annoyed at me she gets.  So then I back down but the damage is done, and instead of feeling loving and connected, she feels annoyed and frustrated and I feel concerned and icky about the whole interaction.

She told me I'm conveying to her how much I care about Torah and mitzvos, but it also makes her dread chagim she used to either look forward to or feel neutral about.

After hearing that (I was hoping for her to stay in the entire 100 blasts), I asked her if davening Shacharis shemona esrei and musaf shemona esrei would be okay for her.  She agreed but the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.  I want to just go back in and reconnect but I still have 2 more interactions with her that involve responsibilities.  I can knock one off til tomorrow...

After some thought, I am putting both of those aside.  Tonight I will try to reconnect with no agenda.  I read a parenting book over the weekend and one thing that I remember from it is that kids can sniff an ulterior motive from a mile away.  The idea is to spend time with them without having opinions about how it should go, what they should do, how they should benefit, what should they gain, and what the interaction should engender.  We'll see if I can try that tonight.

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