So, what with preparing for services (I act as cantorial soloist for an alternative service each Rosh Hashanah at a synagogue and lead a service for a senior center) and work and cooking and other “stuff”….well, this week’s Dvar Torah just isn’t getting written.
That’s ok – let me just say this. There is a line in this week’s parasha, Netzavim, that says “Lo bashamayim hi” – It’s not in the heavens. One of my favorite lines. What’s the “it”? The Torah. It’s Jewish living- not religious living, not this mitzvah or that commandment…it’s living in a Jewish heart-melody. It’s here. It’s in our grasp. It’s not too esoteric or foreign, or out of reach. It’s ours, to use, learn, grapple with, argue with, turn over and over.
I hope this year you find time to use, learn, grapple with, argue with, turn over and over. Jewish learning is a joyous lifelong journey. Take a step, try something on, see if fits, and then try something else. To start the year off right, check out Limmud Chicago. It’s the fifth annual festival of Jewish learning, Nov 16, 17. Details on website. Art, history, music, text study, Israel, and more. Neshama Carlebach, Josh Nelson, Amichai Lau Lavie, Joel Grishaver….and you! Registration is open, and early prices go through Sept. 30. Get on it!!
Sometimes it’s a great, vast silence out there – not sure who’s reading, who’s reacting, who’s upset, who’s disagreeing. I always welcome your comments at the end of these posts. Let’s talk a little more this year.
I may find a few things to share over the next week, but for now, I wish you all a year of sweetness and joy, health and purpose, sustenance (paychecks!) and meaning.
Shana Tova u’metukah.