Religion & Beliefs

No Indie Jewess Is An Island

So tonight we head to shul for two days of praying and eating and trying to sort things out with God. If done right (in my opinion) Rosh Hashana is an intensely personal holiday, forcing you to privately take stock … Read More

By / September 12, 2007

So tonight we head to shul for two days of praying and eating and trying to sort things out with God. If done right (in my opinion) Rosh Hashana is an intensely personal holiday, forcing you to privately take stock of what you’ve done in the past year, and what you wish you had done differently. It’s about our relationships with friends and family, and our relationship with God, too. But one of the things that I always notice at Rosh Hashana is how full the synagogue sanctuary gets. People come together for this holiday, even though in its essence, it’s about a private confession and resolution. We come together because as Jews that’s what we do. We gather, and we pray and think and try to do better. In this age of DIY and virtual lives, sometimes it can be easy to forget the simple power of standing in a room with hundreds of other people, all thinking about how to make themselves better people and making wishes for the year to come. I feel so lucky, this year of all years, to have a community, and a relationship with God and Torah. Not only because it has given me so many Jewcy friends, but also because even in the lonliest moments of introspection, it’s nice to feel like you’re part of something larger. And even those of us who stick it to the man, and practice an alternative, funky, and anti-establishment Judiasm are important to the whole. Weirdly, I feel the need to call on some of John Donne’s religious meditations, some of the beautiful faith writing you’ll ever read:

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

L’shana tova u’metukah! Wishing you all a sweet, healthy and happy New Year.