Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Gotta' Love You Rosh Hashanah

This video was sent to me recently asking, among other things, for my take on it.

So here's my thought:

The lyrics bear listening to. “Yom Kippur leaves me feeling empty inside.” Wow. That’s not good. Why, I wonder? “Passover reminds me of the tears that we cried.” Okay, that makes sense. Sad, but sense.

So, Yom Kippur = empty
Passover = sad
Rosh Hashanah = date night?

Well… why not? To overuse an already overused cliché, it’s thinking outside the box.

And THEN, I started thinking about one image – just one single image, the first image that comes to mind (oh, let’s be Freudian, shall we?) – for each of the major holidays.

Pesach. Easy. The moment when I was 15 and dipping parsley in salt water and really truly crying because for the first time in my life I finally felt HOME.

Yom Kippur. Also easy. Hearing Kol Nidre in a rich baritone voice and feeling like every nerve is on fire, like somehow this voice, this song, this moment is a fragile, precious reaching out from our most vulnerable to the divine.

Rosh Hashana. Not so easy. I want to say hearing the shofar, or apples and honey or something nice. But the first image that comes to mind… I’m sorry to say it… is what feels like interminable hours of standing and sitting and standing again and maybe getting to sit for a bit and then more standing. And then, exhausted at the end of the first day, my only thought is “You want me to do this AGAIN?”

Or the alternative… think about it a new way. When my feet feel like they want to fall off and I’m just not feeling that into it and I’m prayed out for the hour or the day and I just want to go home, would it be so bad to silently groove to “R to the O to the S to the H to the…”? I might do it. I just might.

Why can’t Rosh Hashana be like a date, that exciting newness of it all, a special “dinner” of apples and honey and wine, of coming “home” and seeing with new eyes, hearing with new ears, letting go of the past and embracing the Book of Life? Especially if it lands folks in shul. And especially if people look forward to it as Rosh Hashana and not simply “Thursday.”

R to the O to the S to the H to the HASHANAH...

What are your thoughts?

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