Thursday, January 28, 2010

What I had for breakfast

Had a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice. There was a considerable interruption between the two as I got a call from someone I needed to interview for an article. Interesting thing I noticed is I said the bracha for the OJ but not the cereal, which would have been fine - I'm a one-bracha-covers-the-whole-meal kind of guy - except I had the cereal first. This got me thinking a couple of things:

1. Why am I bothering saying these prayers at all? Why bother continuing my Jewish practice at such a high level of commitment when it's not getting me anywhere? It reminded me and reinforced that I do this for myself, not to please or impress anyone else. And ultimately, that's where religion needs to happen; if you do it to please your parents, or your friends, or your rabbi (or your rabbinical school), or even God then it will not be successful. It becomes a chore, an externally applied burden, rather than part of your internal support and strength.

2. It is not required of us to be perfect; it is required that we make the attempt. God does not expect perfection, but rather expects that we will fall short, which is why repentance, forgiveness, and t'shuvah are major themes in Judaism.

3. I could only go two days without going off on some rant about Jewish practice and it's application to my life. Clearly I'm not meant to be a rabbi. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And the envelope please...

January 25, 2010
Shevat 10, 5770

Dear Aaron:

Thank you for meeting with the Rabbinical School Admissions Committee of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. We were inspired by your love of, and commitment to, Jewish life. However, after a careful evaluation of your candidacy, the committee regrets to inform you that we are unable to offer you admission.

We understand that this is a moment of disappointment for you, but we want to commend you for your dedication to the service of the Jewish people. We know that you will continue to find other rewarding ways to express your commitment to Judaism and make a difference to our community.

We wish you much success in the future.

Yours truly,

Vice President and Director of Admissions

No, they really don't understand that this is a moment of disappointment for me. It's the difference between knowing the sinking of the Titanic was a disastrous event and feeling the ice-cold water soak into your socks.

For all that I refused to act as if I were getting in, I really didn't think I would be rejected. And - for now, at least - with zero explanation as to why. I'm not sure what happens next, but it's going to take some processing.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me for the duration of this experiment. It's been a hell of a lot of fun. For at least a while, though, I can't focus on this anymore. I'm putting the blog on indeterminate hiatus.

Thanks again for all your love and support this month; see y'all around the net!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The great big daven in the sky

Don't know how I missed this story; it's a doozy! On my way to a concert so I'll try to post more later. Meanwhile read the article and tell me what you think.

Homeland Security questions teen about tefillin:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Day After

Says it all really.

The chorus at least.

Waiting's hard; that's what I'm going for.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today's the Day

Wish me luck!

Call Me El

Not finished yet. Comments appreciated.

To the tune of Paul Simon's "Call Me Al"

A man walks down the street
He says why should I leave my home now
Why should I leave my homeland
Life in the desert is hard
I need an heir to leave behind me
I want a shot at a family
Don’t want to end up a poor man
In an idol’s graveyard
Le-chi lach Le-chi lach
God come to visit me
Far away the world I know
He says Follow Me Follow Me
Get those idols away from me
You know I don’t find this stuff amusing anymore
If you call me Adonai
I can be your long lost pal
I will call you Abraham
And Abraham when you call me
You can call me El.

A man walks down the street
He says why am I seeing this ladder
Got to climb up this ladder now
And wo this ladder is long
Got two wives and a family
What if I die here
Who’s this man wrestling me
We’ve been wrestling so
Long Long
He touched me on the thigh
And we roll around I don’t let go
At the dawn dawn
There were sacraments and promises
There were hints and implications
If you call me Adonai
I can be your long lost pal
I will call you Israel
And Israel when you call me
You can call me El
Call me El

A nation’s on the street
It’s a street in a desert
There they are strangers
There they are in a strange land
They don’t have their freedom
They have a destiny
Here comes a holy man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Prayers in the night time
Timbrels at the Red sea
He coming down down
They hear angels blowing shofars
Sounding to infinity
They say Amen! And Hallelujah!
If you’ll receive my Torah
I can be your long lost El.
You can call me Yaweh
And when you call me Yaweh
I’ll call you Yisrael
K’lal Yisrael