Friday, September 28, 2007

Confusion of the Heart

The Yom Kippur machzar (prayer book) kept asking for repentance for sins that were pretty easy to recognize: e.g. "sessions of vice" and "disrespect for parents and teachers." Other sins were less transparent; in particular, I found myself wondering, again and again, what constitutes the sin of "confusion of the heart."


1.Some divine script instructs the heart to beat adagio, and then the perverse, or perhaps just merely disobedient, heart contracts a bit too slowly - or a bit too fast.
2.An extrasystole manifests itself now and then, causing fear and confusion.
3.Two people get a divorce and then realize that, at best, their hearts were confused.
4.A person of color fights with a white boy in a small Southern town and finds himself locked up for who knows how long.(Whose heart was confused?)
5.A Southern District Attorney stands up in front of a lot of people and says that the people of color behaved well during their protest because of the presence of Jesus Christ. (Who was most confused at that point, the DA, the listeners or Jesus Christ?)
6.My sister is suddenly talking back to people. (Is this confusion of the heart or clarity of the heart?)
7.I was going to leave Nefesh last year at this time because I had too much hair. (How confused was that?)
8.At the blink of the eye, we have gone from Jeff sitting on my lap to the eve of his marriage. (My heart should be glad and not confused at this passage of time.)
9.My friend says that her brother has married her mother; I say that all men marry their mothers and that mothers come in many disguises.
10.An acquaintance misinterprets events and ends up hurting a lot of people.

Any suggestions?

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