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THE GRINCH WHO STOLE ROSH HASHANAH

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by Benyamin Cohen
Torah from Dixie Editor    

Rosh Hashanah is canceled this year. That’s right – it’s called off. So put your machzor back on the bookshelf, return the honey to the pantry, and ask the mailman to retrieve the new year’s cards you just dropped in that big box in front of the post office.

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Rosh Hashanah is canceled this year. That’s right – it’s called off. So put your machzor back on the bookshelf, return the honey to the pantry, and ask the mailman to retrieve the new year’s cards you just dropped in that big box in front of the post office. Sorry, there’ll be no round challahs this year. Don’t ask. Just trust me. I got a memo, postmarked this past Tuesday, from Heaven.

                I won’t bore you with all the details. I’ll skip over the part about the valley of death, G-d’s disappointment in His chosen people, and the general state of disharmony amongst the Jewish nation. I’ll skip right down to the second paragraph.

                It reads, and I quote: “And so, therefore, I G-d, the Big Guy Upstairs, by the power vested in Me, do hereby cancel the Jewish New Year and call off all observances of the festival. Sorry for all the hassle.

                Love, G-d.

                P.S. – Sukkot is still on.”

                After careful consideration, a trip to my shrink, and upon showing the note to several prominent Torah scholars, I think I figured out what it all meant.

                Apparently, G-d is pretty upset. We’ve gone off the path of Jewish observance so much that he just downright decided to call off the whole New Year thing. Sorry kids, no shofar this year.

                Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you haven’t fallen off the path of Jewish observance. You’re not the archetypal rebellious son. You go to synagogue. You read your Torah from Dixie. But there’s more to Judaism than that.

                Newsflash: Judaism is not a spectator’s sport. It’s a challenging, yet rewarding, religion – one fraught with complex decisions and unique opportunities.

                We haven’t left the Torah path. We’ve just sat down on the path and taken a break. In essence, we’ve become the Grinch who stole Rosh Hashanah and the rest of our Judaism, for that matter. As is most often the case, we’ve fallen into our plush comfort zone, lazily taking the route of least resistance. Yeah, I’m a religious Jew, but I’m the same religious Jew I was twelve months ago. Judaism is not static; it’s a dynamic religion. As the old adage goes, if you’re not moving forward, you’re just not moving at all.

                Alright, so we’ve got a little less than half a month to change G-d’s mind. If enough of us take to heart that we’re in the month of Elul, the month ripe for repentance, then maybe – just maybe – Rosh Hashanah won’t be canceled this year. If we get up off our feet and start making decisions, – actual, real-life choices complete with consequences – then maybe we can get back our New Year.

                I think we can pull it off. Besides, I kind of like that round challah.

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Benyamin Cohen is editor of Torah from Dixie.

You are invited to read more Parshat Ki Tavo articles.

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