The start of baseball season reminds me that as a young boy in Southern California in 1965, I thought only one thing when I heard the word “hero”: Sandy Koufax.
We spend a lot of time coordinating High Holiday worship, but when we strip away the particulars, our experience strongly resembles an AA meeting.
There is a moment during the N'ilah service on Yom Kippur that stays with me, always. I want to say that it haunts me, but that's really not the right image. It's more a flooding, a rushing-out-and-rushing-in-at-the-exact-same-moment kind of thing.
In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the year’s liturgy. (Note: Even though I may have to repent for it, I will leave you in suspense about my favorite liturgical moment and my greatest liturgical pet peeve. Also, “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days” is fictional, although I hereby declare copyright in the event Mattel or Hasbro comes knocking at my door.)
One of my most precious possessions is a copy of the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin printed in Munich in 1946 on presses once used for Nazi propaganda.
Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.