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Just Jew It

Thursday, 10 September, 2015 - 9:53 pm

 shofar just do it

You’ve seen the ad everywhere.  Just Do It! But what is the “it” that you are supposed to “Just Do!”?

This was one of those existential questions that troubled me until I saw this ad and I knew the answer.

Too often we see the High Holidays as a big drag.  When we are “doing” the High Holidays that way  it is so unpleasant, it’s something we have to do either because we live with Jewish guilt or some fear of punishment or some other phobia that we may possess.

This year Just Do It! When you Just Do It! You do it with life, joy and energy.  Mah Nishtana? Why should this year be any different than any other one, you may ask?  Take the time to ponder the following and see if it motivates some inner life, joy and energy.

Our relationship with Gd is a complex one.  Like a marriage it has moments of profound intimacy and moments of tension.  It’s really a roller coaster.  Sometimes things are good and we feel close to Gd and at other times we feel distant.

The causes for this closeness are circumstantial, emotional or otherwise.  But in the final analysis would you rather the relationship with its profound intimate moments and its tense moments, with its ups and downs or no relationship at all?

I thought so.

During the coming month we have an increasing closeness and intimateness with the Divine that manifests itself in the different experiences and manifestations of the season.

Elul (the last month of the Jewish calendar year and only a few days left) Gd is like a King who goes out to the peasant worker out in the field, far from the elite palace goers, to show his kind benevolent and smiling face to his subjects.  He awaits personal requests and accepts them directly from his subjects.

Rosh Hashanah, Gd is like a judge who sits on his throne of judgment to judge all of Creation.  Gd sits in the seat of judgment but judges with mercy like only Gd who knows our complexities and the circumstances surrounding our lives.  Gd who knows each of us and is the one who walks in our shoes like no one else can, He is the one who judges us.

Yom Kippur the day of At-One-Ment.  Atonement that is achieved because we stand in moment of pure intimacy with the Divine when all shortcomings are wiped away and the purpose of our existence is once again renewed.

Sukkot, sitting in the Sukkah all of Gd’s children sit in harmony together.  Like a parent who loves when their children get along and all the doors are open to them when peace reigns, Gd too manifests his profound love and opens his treasure houses of blessing to His united family.

The Chasidic Masters tell us that there are precious energies to be collected throughout the season that we can then unpack throughout the year.

So as we enter into the final stretch of the month of Elul, the month of preparation for the New Year, why don’t you consider “Just Do(ing) It”! this year!  Bring your empty suitcase and let’s fill it up together.

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