In today's Parsha, we find many events: a second Pesach, the beginning of the Israelites' Journey into the wilderness, and even a fire sent as vengeance to those who complained against G-d. But to me, a Shabbat B'yachad parent, the most interesting is an episode dealing with whining. Of course everyone has to deal with whining sometimes, not just parents. But it is a fitting topic for SBY day.
When I lived back in Manhattan, huge salad bars were trendy. You could have sushi, brisket, and mango for lunch. Sukkot is a similarly odd hodgepodge. We live in huts. We shake special plants. It's the also the beginning of the rainy season. I'm going to try to tie these things together.
"Al Chet shechatanu lifanecha; for the sin which we have sinned before you . . ." Those familiar words begin the second section of the vidui, the confession, which if we include Mincha on erev Yom Kippur, we recite a total of 9 times during this day. Nine times! What does reciting this long litany of sins really mean to each of us? And especially what does it mean by the fourth, or fifth time, let alone the ninth time.
Here we are once again, together on this day Yom Hadin - the day of judgement, the birthday of the world and the birthday of Adam. Each year I ask myself, why am I here? There are as many different reasons as there are people sitting here. As we all know, today and on Kol Nidre there are more Jews in synagogue than any other day of they year. No matter how tenuous our connection to Judaism or to a Jewish religious practice may be, on this day we come; on this day many of us feel compelled to come.
My day job is as a psychologist, and my passion is marriage counseling. I want to talk about marriage and sacred commitment through the lens of today's parashah.