Friday, September 11, 2015

Bent Into Shape

The goal of this email is to give some give-and-take for your Shabbat table.... please print and share.


It has been a few months since Table Talk went on an extended holiday so that I could complete my dissertation.

As of this week, I feel done.

But am I?

Who decides?

One man: my dissertation advisor.

Some good news in my inbox this morning:

"I agree with you that we are coming near a wrap and passing your work to a committee...."

That's my advisor writing.

It ain't over folks, but I have less of an excuse now not to write this Friday email.

Here's a question for your table: Which of the following doesn't belong:

a. The Jewish New Year
b. Blow the shofar
c. Dip apples in honey
d. Go to shul

The answer is: b - blow the shofar.

Why doesn't it belong?

It's the only one on the list that is actually mentioned in the Torah. The other three are customs.

(In fact, choice a is just wrong. If you want to know why, shoot me a reply.)

So if you want to get to the essence of Rosh Hashana, you gotta get into the shofar.

There are plenty of online articles about this beautiful mitzvah.

I would like to direct your attention to one aspect of the shofar that is often overlooked, especially by people who hear it every year.

Why a curved horn? There are animals with straight horns, but the shofar traditions that we inherited are all curved?

The rabbis say that the curve is to remind us that one of the most important ingredients in having a great year to come is to begin with a bit of humility.

You are great. You are an amazing, incredible, unique, wonderful, invaluable human being.

Just don't let it go to your head.

The year feels almost over. But when is it? Who decides? An advisor? A committee?
Shabbat Shalom and l'Shana Tova!

May you and yours be inscribed and sealed for a good life. May your dreams and hopes be fulfilled. May you enjoy health and wealth, family and friends, and meaningful things to do.

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