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Special education teacher writes poem in honor of Yom Kippur

By Pat Gee

LAST UPDATED: 12:34 a.m. HST, Sep 17, 2010


Sandra Armstrong, a member of the Congregation Sof Ma'arav on the Pali Highway, wrote a poem in honor of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Yom Kippur marks the conclusion of Rosh Hashanah or new year holidays. It starts tonight and ends tomorrow evening. 

Armstrong, a special education teacher at Kailua Elementary School, wrote "The Shofar," which is traditionally a ram's horn blown to "awaken our eternal souls in the New Year," she said. It follows: 

"The sound of the Shofar shatters our souls. We hear the blasts as they reverberate into our bones.

"Everything that we are falls apart at our feet, all our perceptions, ideas, outer skin limitations, and we stand in a puddle of deep reflection. Throughout the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we walk around in the pool of our mistakes, doubts, and fears, chunks of our soul. 

"We slowly, ever so slowly begin to look at our lives in a new way. How can we fit the pieces of ourselves into new patterns and change our very being of who we are?  

"The pool of reflection glistens at our feet, sparkling with the hope of who we wish to be. As we approach the Day of Atonement these internal pieces start moving back into place. Pieces of our soul reconnect and reunite into meaningful combinations, new combinations of ourselves.    

"The Shofar blasts again as nightfall settles on Yom Kippur. It is the signal for our final completion, for on this sacred holiday, our souls have been cleansed, twisted, turned, and pressed into the most purest of human forms." 

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