Sometimes the Jewish community spends years trying to figure out how to solve a problem when the solution comes from the most unexpected place.
Facebook’s latest meme is called, “How hard has aging hit you?” If you didn’t get the memo, you’re supposed to post your very first profile picture (typically from 2008 or 2009) alongside your current picture – roughly a ten year gap. And then, you’re supposed to see how badly you’ve aged.
Life is serious and important. The flipping of the calendar (so to speak) reminds us to solemnly assess what was and choose what will be. But just as the passage of time reminds us how very serious and fleeting life is, it also serves as a reminder that, as King Solomon said, “This too shall pass.” Don’t take it all so seriously.
I finally realized why I like to travel so much, and it’s not half as exciting as I thought. There really is one overarching reason, and it’s so simple and in a way sad but those of you who are raising families will understand and perhaps even validate me here:
Tali is a super chatty middle-aged Sephardic Israeli woman who drove me to the airport on my recent trip to Israel. Her parents are Moroccan, and she recently traveled with them to Morocco for a visit. She told me that the Muslims in Morocco are so wonderful, kind and hospitable – they literally keep their doors open for guests. There is a reverent relationship from the Moroccan monarchy to the Jewish people, such that every Yom Kippur, at Neilah, the king comes himself to the Jewish synagogue to ask the congregants for a blessing. This is a tradition that has been practiced for years, passed down in the monarchy from father to son.
By Rabbi Sruly and Ruchi Koval
Pittsburgh wasn’t supposed to happen. Here in the USA, on safe soil, we’re not supposed to be afraid to go to synagogue on a Shabbat morning in suburbia. This is not Berlin or Paris. It’s not the Middle East and it’s not East Cleveland. Squirrel Hill is safe. It’s Beachwood and Shaker Heights and Solon. Right?