Namath: I ask you to join me in making a new year’s resolution. Let us resolve to do better for 10 million of our children. Let us provide them with the health care they deserve by covering them through SCHIP.
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.)
When people ask me what prompted me to become a rabbi, I often tell them about my love of Jewish learning, or Israel, or a desire to help, or some such noble pursuit. The truth is, what really prompted me to become a rabbi was Chuck Taylor sneakers.
Every year for 30 years, I’ve sat in a temple sanctuary on the High Holidays and watched a movie. It’s a movie only I can see – flashbacks of all the times I recall over the past 52 weeks when I didn’t measure up to the standards of my head, heart, and soul.
Last year at this season, something surprising appeared in my inbox. It was a response to a challenge:
“Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?”
At this time of year, many in the Jewish community have a heightened awareness of matters of forgiveness and redemption. With the High Holidays approaching, we are mindful of the need for teshuvah (repentance), and we do our best to turn away from past sinfulness.