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We're not getting divorced!

Friday, 13 March, 2020 - 8:15 am

What an incredible Purim! I Recently heard someone say that “we need to face the fact that young Jews are not interested in Yiddishkeit”. I argued quite the contrary that Jews, including millennials, aren’t interested in watered-down forms of religion, but when offered a dose of soulfulness, they are in. With over 100 of us celebrating Tuesday evening at the Baxter, I felt vindicated. You see, they didn’t just come because it was a costume party, they have Halloween for that. They didn’t come because it was free, as it wasn’t. They didn’t come because of the L’Chaim served, as there are way better bars in town. They didn’t come for the amazing NY Deli, as we never advertised the menu. They came because they are seeking a connection with their essence, and Purim is a celebration of just that (See Purim pics here). 

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki-Tisa, we read about the sin of all sins, Jewry building a golden calf. The oddity of that act is discussed at length in every Torah commentary; the one detail on which they all agree, is that this was a “teachable” moment on steroids. Jewry was experiencing an existential crisis, questioning the essence of holiness, and they came out on the other side with stronger faith and a more forgiving G-d. Indeed, the Sinai newlyweds, G-d the groom and Jewry the bride faced separation that was close to an unamicable divorce, but thanks to the matchmaker Moses, they came around and their relationship prospered. It was then that it became clear that even when we struggle, this marriage will persevere, and it has for over 3,000 years.  

Being a naysayer is effortless. It’s easy to be anxious about the trajectory of the Jewish people. I’ll make an admission; I too have moments where I wonder what the future will look like. Yet, it is then that I remember the Purim celebrations,  Passover Seders, Chanukah bashes and most importantly the hundreds of annual one-on-one Torah classes, Mitzvah moments and coffee discussions I enjoy with souls on fire, wanting to tap in to our heritage, and I’m comforted. The future isn’t bright because I want to be optimistic or because I’m somewhat delusional; it’s bright because we study history and we know Jews have had it rough, rougher than today, and we overcame and are still rockin’ and Rollin.  

Who was it that said “In this bright future you can’t forget your past”?

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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