Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Welcoming HaShem; Avinu and Malkeinu

It's funny what triggers memories.  I was riding home the other through Lincoln Square.  That area reminds me of the main street in the little town where my grandparents lived, and the weather was like the summer days when I would visit them.  I had a very close relationship with my grandfather.  He was a professor of electrical engineering at a state college.  Grandpa was brilliant, an excellent teacher, and loved by everyone.  My role model in almost every way.  He worked to create a program that allowed me to talk college classes while still in high school.  I also lived with them for my first year "away from home" when I started college.  A lot of who I am and what I have accomplished in life is directly attributable to the efforts my grandfather made on my behalf.

What I remember most vividly, however, is just wantintg to spend as much time as possible with Grandpa.  I would go with him the bank, to pay utility bills (when it cost less to drive than the cost of a stamp), grocery shopping, etc.  I don't remember playing games, nor the content of many conversations.  I just remember being with him and feeling whole.  There was no other place I wanted to be nor anything else I wanted to be doing.

That's Rosh HaShana.  No mention of sin, or what we need to do to improve.  No mention of the what we expected this year and what our disappointments were.  Just being with HaShem.  At night we have the simanim.  The traditional ones: apples with honey, dates, pomegranates, and so forth.  The new "tranditional" ones: carrots ("mehren" in yiddush; which sounds like "more"), raisins with celery (sounds like "raise in salary"); be creative.  It's just good fun at a formal dinner with the royal family; and and HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  Then during the day we have shofar during a musaf that is extended to give us more time with our King and Father.  Majesty and grandeur, pomp and circumstance.

There will be time to get down to business during the last eight days of the Aseres Y'mei T'shuva, but first it's just time to spend time together; to feel whole and know there is no other place we'd want to be and nothing else we'd rather be doing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…

Thought for the Day: Prayer II -- How?

Now that we know that the obligation to pray is nothing more (nor less!) than a divine decree, we are going to also need instructions from heaven on how to implement that decree.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have instruction from heaven how to implement heavenly decrees.  One only needs to look at the shambles that one modern ism has made of the very important Torah principle of תיקון עולם/improving and fixing the world.  They have taken words out of context and used them to support their own nefarious schemes.  (To the point that Google Translate actually translates -- not transliterates -- תיקון עולם as Tikkun Olam.  Amelia Bedelia would be proud; we are not amused.

The Torah teaches us how to pray in two complementary fashions.  One is the way in which the concept is presented as an obligation, the other is by giving us examples of how to practically implement those instructions.

The obligation is introduced in the second paragraph of "sh'ma" -- וּלְ…