The offenses of my youth and my transgressions, may You not recall
In Your lovingkindness recall me. You.
For the sake of Your goodness, Ground of Being.
חַטֹּאות נְעוּרַי וּפְשָׁעִי אַל-תִּזְכֹּר
לְמַעַן טוּבְךָ ה״
Acknowledge transgressions and move forward
Has your mind ever played the trick of reminding you of every youthful transgression you ever committed? Perhaps the person you were in your early 20s does not resemble the person you are today. Let me put it simply: I am extremely grateful the internet was in its infancy when I was in college.
Beyond my choices in college, perhaps I should try to scrub the internet of my blogging when I was in my 20s. Given the political nature of securing employment, perhaps I should have more anxiety about my peace activism. I do not want to hide my younger self: she was forged from Jewish values and persuasive rhetoric. Fundamentally, my persona coalesced around opposition to the status quo and mainstream ideas of security and nationalism. When I woke up to how rigid and angry I was on a daily basis, my surety cracked. Making space for uncertainty, I opened the door to returning to a relationship with HaShem.
Wrapping myself in kindness and goodness
Lovingkindness / covenantal love: the choice to be in relationship and obligated to act faithfully. For the sake of goodness.
Within the text of psalm 25, HaShem is asked to remember these choices when connecting with a human. To embody the psalm, I must remember chesed, the sturdy love, the kindness, I should show to my family and my society. For the sake of Goodness, I choose to rise above my baser instincts. My transgressions are not as important as my commitment to lovingkindness.
Just as I ask HaShem to overlook my transgressions, so too must I probe to the deeper meaning of living in community. What words can I say to expand the reach of goodness? How can my actions embody the covenantal love embracing me continuously?