Halloween brings me a bit of stress each year. On a very basic level, I'm just not a fan of this holiday that, in recent years, seems to have become so much bigger than ever before.
A young man came to a rabbi for a chat.
“I’ve bought a new car” said the young man to the rabbi.
“Congratulations,” he replied.
Israel is more than what makes the headlines. It is also filled with people who will reach across the divide and give you the opportunity to be in community together.
The sukkah is a symbol of fragility. We build the temporary structure each year and know that it is only meant to last for the week-long holiday. It sways in the breeze. The raindrops land inside. The animals nibble at our decor. We know it could come crashing down on us.
Although we don’t vote in Israel’s elections and should not expect to, neither does the Knesset have a monopoly over the Zionist project. It belongs to all Jews.
I grew up going to services. A lot of services. I was adept at counting the ceiling tiles, reaching into the thousands as my grasp of numbers grew more sophisticated. The melodies became part of my life soundtrack; I hummed them as my mind wandered during the rabbi’s sermon.
I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.