L'Shana Tova means for a good year. Last night we went to Rosh Hashanah services and it couldn't have been more appropriate to wish everyone l'shana tova after yesterdays debacle in the markets and the lack of leadership our country is displaying right now. Sort of defines the "me" generation at its best. That would be regarding the majority of people in the house that could not put aside their staunch stick with the program politics and not be willing to concede one iota that this particular bill is not perfect but at least something. Shame on them. Shame on Bush for creating such smoke and mirrors and lies over the past 7 years that nobody believes him anymore. I certainly don't believe him as he looks like a deer in the head lights right now. Probably counting down his days with relief.
Our synagogue, The New Shul, celebrated their 10th anniversary last night. Our rabbi didn't speak to us of the many topics he could have chosen from such as economic woes, war, environment, gas dependency, etc. Instead, he took the opportunity to talk about the sabbath. How perhaps the majority of us sitting in his congregation are members of the tribe that only come out twice a year, we should think about taking one day, one night, the sabbath, to be a Jew. I might have wished to hear a little more about the history of Jews and how through many ups and downs we have still been able to come to the place where we worship today regardless of the chaos in the world right now and generations before but that isn't what we heard. So, I think about this today.
I spoke with Jessica about the rabbis speech this morning. There is something about community that is comforting. We see many new friends and old friends and daily friends come together for the holidays. It is nice for us and it is nice for the kids. We come together in times of happiness and in times of sadness. Celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah to losing a loved one. Although we are certainly a very reform family, I do feel committed and connected to seeing our synagogue grow and remain a place that represents the Jews of downtown Manhattan.
As we are hoping to grow our membership, one of the original members got up and did a hilarious piece on why you wanted to join the New Shul. There were 10 reasons but my favorite was number 7. Reason is "I hate organized religion", Answer "we are not that organized". It got a good chuckle out of the audience and it was the perfect way to describe our Shul. Liberal, not sure they believe in God but want to be Jews, believes in tradition but want to do it in their own way, wants to raise their kids Jews but in a different way than their parents did, wants a connection to the synagogue but not the main thing in their life.
I could go on and on but as I think about what the rabbi said, in essence, he was talking about the world at large. He asked us to bring some type of constant into our lives vs the insanity that is going on around us. To challenge yourself in these hard times to find a connection with who you are.
The services ended and everyone kissed and hugged wishing everyone a good year. I said to Fred, as I do every year but in some ways it was more relevant this year, l'shana tova.