Sunday, September 26, 2010

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A Little Jewish Living

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

It’s easy in the modern day and age to be Jewish but forget about living Jewish.  To celebrate the national holidays of your home country, usually the December non-Jewish holiday season for most of us.  Jewishness might be restricted to the occasional visit to synagogue (maybe Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, or for a wedding or a funeral).

mens-fashion-show-2008 The ways of the world change generation by generation.  Leading cultures come and go.  Fads pass through again and again.  Styles and tastes are in fashion and then out of fashion.

Even scientific understanding comes and goes.  The world was flat, then it was round, we were the center of the universe, then off to the side, then it was all relative with no center.  First science said the universe was forever.  Then it had a start and an end…and even a likely creator.  For a while it had a big bang, then a quantum flux.  Now it seems universes (now plural) don’t start so much as develop from the collisions of other universes in an 11 dimensional multiverse.

Human physical knowledge is growing while human morality, usually paid for heavily in blood, is slipping once again. 

And through all this, generation after generation of science knowing better (until the next generation proves it wrong), of today’s fashion and trends showing how the “old” ones were so “old fashioned”, of today’s culture surpassing or replacing the fading culture of the past, through all this the Torah, the Jew, Judaism and Jewish culture are still here.

But for us to be a part of it rather than the passing one of the moment, we must make a point to LIVE it.  Not because WE must guarantee that it survive and continue, though it is true that every culture depends on it’s people believing it worth holding on to and investing in to survive [and this explains the decline of American culture as the last 2 generations were taught that every culture was equivalent – that there was no advantages to American culture and a number of disadvantages to be regretted – and the results are coming out in today’s leadership], no rather we must live it to guarantee that WE survive and continue.

Not we collectively.  I am not crying out that the Jewish people are desperately in need of your commitment or involvement.  Thank G-d the trends for the orthodox religious Jewish communities are solidly upwards.  While that ongoing growth is causing many growing pains and the communities will have to rebalance some priorities to continue to grow well and survive well, they are not “at risk”.

We individually.  My Jewishness and YOUR Jewishness is dependent upon the choice to live a little Jewish living.  Celebrating the Jewish holidays (the period we’re in the midst of right now) as if they are the most important or only holidays of concern.  [Note to non-religious Jews…Chanukah is a pleasant little festival but it’s not a signficant holiday, trying to replace Xmas with Chanukah is a joke.  The Jewish holidays are Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Succot, Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah, and Passover.  The big Jewish festival is Purim, and Chanukah is a minor festival that’s given prominence in Western countries only as an offset to Xmas.]

The choice to be involved in Jewish things, celebrate the Jewish holidays, live a little Jewish living, is the choice of every Jew.  The Jewish people are not in danger from people not celebrating the holidays.  But the Jews that don’t ARE in danger.  Their Jewishness, that of their families and children…that’s what’s at risk.

A little Jewish living goes a long way.  This week, have a seat in a succah.  Make a l’chayim to HaKodesh Baruch Hu.  And this Wednesday night is Jewish party time…when we dance with the Torah’s till we can’t dance any more.  Then we add some lubrication and dance some more!  (Thursday night only for some outside of Israel – depending on the particular synagogue custom.)

If there’s a time to try a little Jewish living, it’s definitely Simchas Torah!

Note we’re pretty light on blogging through Tishrei…we’ve been busy with the holy days, holidays, our famlies, our teshuva and succahs, and our local communities.  G-d willing the pace will pick up again next week.

Moadim L’Simcha from Eretz Yisroel!

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