Friday, September 29, 2017


A reprint:


I love our religious services -- their rhythms, their nigunimand their meaning -- I always have. I especially love the services on the yomim noraim. This year, as the Shofar was about to be blown, in my synagogue, we read a Meditation that resonated with me -- I wish our leaders had read it as well:
"The shofar exclaims: Wake up from your slumber!  Examine your deeds and turn in repentance, remembering your Creator.. You sleepers who forget the truth while caught up in the fads and follies of the time, frittering away your years in vanity and emptiness which cannot help: take a good look at yourselves. Improve your ways..."
I took the message of this Meditation personally -- all of it, even the passages I have not reprinted here; but I fear this call is lost on too many of those in power. I know them to be good women and men, yet I find them "frittering away (their) years in vanity and emptiness." We see expediency where there should be principle. And our organizations suffer, wither and wane.

Rich Bernstein. the dedicated Chair of United Israel Appeal recently included the following in his Yom Kippur message, a message that resonated with me as it did Rich:
                 "Avinu Sh'bashamayim, O God in Heaven
As we approach another year, we ask Your blessings upon us and upon our loved ones. Grant us the courage to peer into our lives, the wisdom and discernment to evaluate what we see, and the strength to act with resolve to change whatever needs improvement."

Certainly our leaders know what their offices demand of them. If they cannot bring themselves to act, it is not because they know not what must be done; it is because they lack the will to do what is right. 

All we can ask is that the call of the Shofar wakes them from their slumber. 

As for me, I know that I have hurt any number of you with what I have written (and thought but not written) over this past year and wish that I could apologize to each of you for anything that I have written that has been hurtful. I, too, will try to heed the call of the Shofar in the New Year. 

G'mar hatima tovah to you and your families.


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