Hitting the Road of Life

Thursday, 27 October, 2011 - 5:11 pm

Dear Friends,

After four holiday weekends we are finally back to “regularly scheduled programming.”

People talk about being “Jewed out” following such an intense month of Jewish involvement and synagogue attendance. The truth is that it is precisely in these times that our Jewish resolve is proven. To live an inspired Jewish life under the glowing lights of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is no “kuntz” (Yiddish for trick – but used in the context of major accomplishment.) To celebrate our Judaism during Sukkot and Simchat Torah is no “kuntz.” But when the holidays are over and we are back to regular day to day living, this is “kuntz” territory. To duplicate the level of intense inspiration that we felt while hearing the Shofar or singing Avinu Malkeinu, on a Wednesday afternoon in Cheshvan, is no small feat. To recapture the joy of dancing with the Torah on Simchat Torah, on a winter Friday night, requires effort.

This is why it has been a longstanding Chabad custom to make the following declaration on the night after Simchat Torah: V’Yaakov Halach L’Darko – and Jacob went on his way. This implies that when we leave the aura of the holidays and we are “on our way” back to the mundane, we must remember to pack all of the special experiences of the holiday month, so that we can take them out and use them over the entire year, when we need a whiff of inspiration to carry us through the tough times.

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, Malkie and I hosted a group of Young Jewish Professionals for dinner. We asked each of them to state a wish for themselves or the world for the incoming year. I was pleasantly surprised when a good number of them expressed the desire to have a greater closeness and more open channel of communication with their parents. For all the talk about the generation gap and lack of respect between the younger generation and the parents, here was a group of 25-35 year old professionals who were yearning for a better relationship with their parents. There is hope…

On the lighter side… The day after Simchat Torah my children decided that they were going to experiment with eating the Etrog. During dinner they sliced it and gave everyone a piece. There were mixed reviews but they did get a chance to recite a special blessing – Shehecheyanu – over this exotic and rarely consumed fruit.

Mazel Tov to Nadiv and Toby Kehaty upon the birth of their daughter, Shoshana. A special Mazel Tov to Uzzi and Rivkah, the proud grandparents.

Mazel Tov to Einav (Avidan) and Shalom Ben-Shimol upon the birth of their son, Shlomo.

A warm welcome to Richard Stone, who is coming to New Orleans to speak at the JEF event this weekend.

Please take a moment to view additional photos that were uploaded of the Sukkah party. Photo credit – Peter Fierman –

Wishing you all a wonderful month and good Shabbos!
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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