This time of year, I hear my own inner skeptic say, “Why bother?” Isn’t this idea of starting the new year over a bit outdated? After all, we are Jews. There’s no Times Square fanfare or a ball to drop. Yes, there are apples and honey, but frankly, I’d rather eat a brownie.
Shalom, Rabbi, I have a question. Why is it that when I experience true beauty, a mama lion serenely cradling her cub, a cub fully vulnerable and relaxed into her mama’s embrace, do I experience a pain in my heart? I immediately feel a pain and a fear that someone will harm either of them or that bad things will happen to them? What in me needs healing to let go of this fear and despair that beauty is under attack, that vulnerability and love will be destroyed?
Picture this: In rabbinic times, after the destruction of the Temples, Jews lived throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In order to synchronize the calendars, long before Iphones or satellites, a rabbinic court in Jerusalem waited for two witnesses to come and testify that they had seen the New Moon crescent.
Upon hearing from each witness, the judges scrupulously compared their testimonies to make sure they were identical. Once the New Moon was confirmed, the news had to spread immediately to people living far and wide. How, you ask?
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