Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Yom Tovim

We're not quite done.  Midway through Chol HaMoed Sukkot, not yet bentched lulav.  

It remains the time to think about Judaism, what went well, what did not.  I kept to my synagogue plan set in November 2014 to go to my congregation if somebody else benefited from my being there, usually as bimah participant but to honor a special guest as well.  Will continue that through the end of the calendar year.  Been to Chabad once a month and Beth Tfiloh once a quarter as planned.  Went to a transdenominational Rosh Hashana, one in existence for 25 years but only attended by me for about five.  I think it's where my synagogue experience tops out.  Participants have been top notch.  No pretense   No formal Rabbis.  Probably the best application of meritocracy to a synagogue that I have encountered anywhere.

Rabbi Robinson, our community's Reform spiritual leader and in my mind the most articulate Jewish thinker of my town posted his YK sermon:

He often focuses on synagogue development for his congregation with implications that are applicable anywhere.  He took an interesting approach, maybe even a nihilist one, to isolate the strengths of his congregation and move them ahead while not trying to remedy the short comings.  His reasoning, which I always hold in great respect, is that if you do something well you can proceed to excellence.  If you focus on correcting a weakness, the best you can hope for is mediocrity.  It's an interesting perspective with all sorts of applications.  If AKSE cannot move women ahead effectively, then write off the project, accept the reality that young families will see us as a dinosaur and promote our excellent kiddush and Sisterhood and small cadre of daveners.  Accept shabbos morning as a variant of Hebrew school beyond redemption with those interAliyah Sound Bites and make the AKSE Academy project sparkle since it has the potential to sparkle.  I'm not sure that this type of writing off one's deficits is really in keeping with the spirit of the High Holy Days, but I can respect the reasoning behind it.  

My own initiatives of what I might like to pursue Jewishly still come in June and December but the fall holidays set the background.

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