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The Questions that Lead to More Sacred Living

10/04/2022 01:53:27 PM


Rabbi Brad Levenberg

This past Shabbat – Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur – I was privileged to take many of our high school seniors to New York for a weekend of bonding and learning. We took in several of the important sights – Ellis Island, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the World Trade Center Museum and Memorial, to name a few. And we ate the iconic foods – Chinese food in Chinatown, pasta in Little Italy, street hotdogs, New York pizza and bagels, and, of course, New York deli. It was a fabulous experience to share with these young people as they prepare to launch to the next leg of their journey at the end of this year.

Among the more meaningful elements of the weekend was the Broadway show we elected to attend. Hadestown is among the hotter shows on Broadway right now and, through the use of some catchy and jazzy music, tells the story of Hades and Persephone, Orpheus and Euridice.

Though not intentional, it proved to be the perfect show for our time on the Jewish calendar. For what is this time of introspection, this time that just ended yesterday on Yom Kippur, other than a time for asking awe-some questions:

  • Can I change?
  • Do I have the faith in myself to permit me to meet success?
  • To what – and to whom – am I devoted?
  • How are my priorities misaligned?
  • What am I missing when I become hyper-focused and fixated on one thing?

To be honest, after two long days and some gut-busting meals, I’m not sure that those themes were as apparent to our teens as they were to the adults leading the trip. And just as the story of Hades and Persephone, Orpheus and Euridice is timeless, so, too, is the time always right to ask those questions that occupied our thoughts during the Ten Days of Awe. Just now we ask the questions outside of the walls of the synagogue as we re-orient with nature in our Sukkot.

May the Days of Awe that have just passed continue to fill our days to come with awe. And may our questions, and our answers, lead to more sacred living. Oh, and not to make this into a commercial, but for those interested in seeing Hadestown without heading to Manhattan, it is coming to the Fox this season. 

With continued good wishes for a joyous year to come,


Sat, December 10 2022 16 Kislev 5783