It has been heartwarming to read the warm responses to Rabbi Waxman’s post asking Beliefnet to reconsider its decision to cancel Virtual Talmud. Virtual Talmud offered an alternative model for internet communications: civil discourse pursued in postings over a time frame of days (rather than moments) predicated upon the belief in the value of and […]
By this time of year, many Jews are holidayed out. We’ve sat through Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and used our personal days at work for the privilege. Perhaps we managed to celebrate Sukkot. But hold on, there’s still Hoshanna Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah–all this week! That’s right, the Jewish month of Tishrei is chock full of enough holidays to exhaust any rabbi and wear out all but the most devoted congregants. What gives?
At the end of the holiday we celebrate Simchat Torah by completing the annual cycle of Torah reading with song and joyous dancing and beginning the cycle immediately anew. This reinforces the message that now we have truly begun again – that we can resume the cycle of our lives following the New Year, having assimilated the messages both of our ultimate lack of control and the joy that can come in stripping away illusions and moving forward with confidence and rejoicing. It is a message that can infuse our lives and choices for the remaining 11 months of the year.