Shana Tova!


Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

Do Rabbis have a Sense of Humor about the High Holidays?
Take a look at this video and you tell me!
That’s Rabbi Bloom of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. You can join him for Yom Kippur or all year long on Shabbat. Call the synagogue for more information: 510-832-0936.

Sukkot is coming!
This is one of my favorite holidays. You build a hut (sounds like a fort to me!); your parents actually help you do it. You eat in it and sleep in it (if it’s not too cold). You decorate it.
Sukkot has everything – food, place, construction, decorating, family gathering, friends invited in. One thing that makes it REAL is to actually have a sukkah. You can buy a pre-fab one online. They aren’t cheap, ours cost $200, but then neither are a lot of terrific things. If you’re handy with a hammer you can make your own. But the prefab ones breakdown and store till next year.

We are still in the month of Ramadan. I was talking to a Jewish woman on this list who told me that her Muslim husband has been fasting in observance of the holiday. I asked if he were tired or miserable. (We Jews only fast one day, Muslims fast for an entire lunar months worth of days, while breaking their fast each evening.) She said, no, he enjoys it. He feels that following the traditions of Islam help to keep him grounded. He is not a religious guy at all, but he feels that rituals create a framework for his life.
Many Jews will go to Rosh Hashanah and will fast on Yom Kippur for much the same reasons. For all of us the practices of our people are a culture that gives us a bedrock on which to build our lives, stories that give voice to our values. For Jews, the most important thing is what you do. Act. Therefore, it is natural that we “do” in order to lead us to good thoughts and more good deeds. The song says, “good deeds lead to good deeds; bad deeds lead to bad deeds.”
For this new year, 5679, let us join with Zubair and make an effort to find our own framework and work for a better world.
Here’s an easy thing – for one day, greet everyone you deal with as though they are a friend. Tell me how it went.

May the new year bring you increased contentment and peace,