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Allow us to do Good Deeds

by on September 12, 2015

Judaism is about to celebrate what it considers to be it’s 5776 Rosh Hashanah (essentially New Year), coupled with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  Whatever the case, Jews have been celebrating, or perhaps a better word would be observing these holidays – it’s hard to celebrate Yom Kippur – for thousands of years.

Thomas Cahill has gone far enough as suggesting, in Gifts of the Jews, that Judaism developed time as we know it, putting forth the idea of linear time, instead of the cyclical time of those preparing only for the next season.

On Rosh Hashanah we celebrate making it to another year.  Historically, it would have been a time to bring the harvest to Jerusalem, and divide it the manner of the laws that are laid down in the Mishnah; a practice done for centuries before the Mishnah was compiled.

The Mishnaic laws require the rich to provide for the poor, and call for the community to gather and to feast.

Judaism has always been a community-minded religion.  Like all religion proper, it calls for people to treat each other with respect, and to care for one another.  Also like all religion proper, it calls for introspection, and on Yom Kippur implores us to ask forgiveness of our selves and of others.

Our religion is inherently and naturally one of peace.  A religion of peace that recognizes war and calls for the mending of the world.  A religion that is still waiting for the Messiah to come, at which point the world will be healed.  A  religion that says “lo yisa goy el goy cherev lo yil’medu od milchamah” (A nation shall not raise
a sword against a nation and they shall not learn any more war).

This is the opposite of the Judaism that Netanyahu, the Israili political right – and their counterpart the traditional Jewish American lobby – proclaim.  Netanyahu, along with AIPAC and it’s friends, act in the interest of security, not peace, self-interest, not community interest.

As we gather again this year, for the 5776 time, let us continue to work for tikkun olam, healing the world.

From → On the Dole, Religion

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on The Dole Blog and commented:

    Two years later we must continue to work toward true peace, and atonement for all that we should have done or should not have done.

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