A Self-Hating Jew: The High Holidays Bring it Out in Me

When the High Holidays roll around, I invariably catch myself falling into a deep chasm of self-loathing. It’s a time to take stock of your life, to think about what you’ve done in the past year, who you’ve wronged—if this makes you feel good about yourself, you must not be trying very hard. Personally, I’ve been pretty rotten, and trying to sort out who I owe an apology to, and what I can try to improve on this year, feels like an enormous task. When we get to Unetaneh Tokef, the prayer with the famous line, “Who by fire and who by water” all I can think is, “I’d rather water, but I guess I don’t get a choice.”

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