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Daze of Ah

09/26/2019 09:33:55 AM

Sep26

Rabbi Brad Levenberg

Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, the Emory University Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, writes that one year, "while lecturing on the theology of the High Holy Day period, I noticed that a student had written at the top of his notes: the Daze of Ah. I was unsure whether to chastise him for not having done the readings or give him extra credit for offering this insight. For this is exactly how we should approach this time: in a Daze of Ah, a daze of wonderment at the opportunity that has been given to us." 

Indeed, the High Holy Day period is a gift, if we recognize it and prepare properly for it. It is a vital chance to reflect on the year that has passed, and plan for the year to come. It is reminder that the value of family and community far outweigh the stuff that clutters our lives. The High Holy Days challenge us to be better human beings - better custodians of our fragile planet and all that exists on it. The Yamim Noraim reignite the flame that represents our relationship with God - a flame that warms us and shows us the way.

Dr. Lipstadt continues by observing that "most of us never achieve this stage. We are like people who have been told that the last scene of Hamlet is the most riveting and only show up for that scene. We fail to understand what the fuss is about. We parachute into the Yamim Noraim. This period is the April fifteenth of the Jewish year, yet I spend more time preparing my taxes than preparing my soul."

May this Shabbat give us the time and rest to prepare for the upcoming festival of Rosh Hashanah… so that we can better appreciate and accept the Daze of Ah. 

Shanah Tovah u'Metukah - May this be a good and sweet year for us all.

Sun, December 15 2019 17 Kislev 5780