News to celebrate Diaspora Day!
Simchat Torah is the date that celebrates the ending of the annual Torah reading cycle, and its immediate restart. It’s the festival of certain repetition. Perhaps it’s even the festival of routine.
Sukkot poses a hard problem for me. Torah commands me to gather my harvest, to bring it to the temple and present an offering of thanks for all the abundant fruits and crops I was able to produce this season, sharing them also with the Levites and the servants. My problem is simple: I am not a farmer! I don’t have fields, and I don’t harvest any produce; there are no Levites around me anymore, and fortunately there are no more people subjugated to me in servitude.
On Rosh Hashanah the tashlich ritual states: throw pieces of bread into running water in order to get rid of your transgressions. Although surrounded by spiritual meaning, a problem emerges from this act: the transfer of personal waste, even if symbolic, to a place in nature that belongs to everyone. In this sense, what would be the consequences if everyone tried to get rid of what bothers them, disregarding the collective concept so emphasized on Rosh Hashanah, when we remember the creation of the world?
Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a new cycle. The festive moments invite us to engage in reflection and, from there, to rethink our daily practices. In Jewish thought, time is circular, not just in yearly cycles. Historical time is a process of improvement and reparation that fits between Paradise and Messianic Time, two mythical ideas of perfection, of absolute good.
Regarded as the architect of Reform Zionism and of the modern structure of the WUPJ – World Union for Progressive Judaism, the mother institution of the UJR, Union of Reform Judaism Latin America – Rabbi Richard Hirsch, a native of Cleveland, was a tireless advocate of the global Reform Jewish community.
The Sifriá book club was created with the intent of sharing readings, experiences and reflections that may inspire in ourselves a relationship of greater intimacy with Jewish culture, by trying to enrich the way we live our religious belonging.
Elul begins, a very particular month, as there are no festivals or remembrance dates, but it is the month of greatest spiritual labour.
Once the students invited their master, Ben Azzai (2nd century, Israel) to share a good teaching about “Megillat Kinot” (the Biblical Book of Lamentations/Eichah that is read every Tisha beAv).
Check out what’s happening in July with the youth in Argentina!