Three Great Reads from the Jewish Journal
On becoming a shofar, fasting with spirit, and the perils of privilege.
I did a double take the other day when I heard a rabbi talk about the shofar not as a symbol — but as something we can become.
“Be a shofar,” he said… The sound of the shofar, he reminded us, suggests traits that are crucial to any activist, such as humility, authenticity and resilience.
It turns out each of us has an existential choice to make on this Yom Kippur, as we do every day in our life: We can choose whether we will expect shefa, abundance, or whether we will anticipate struggle and denial. Both of those attitudes are sometimes reasonable; life isn’t always rosy, nor is it always bleak.
As my children were entering their teens, I would emphasize to them the contrast between their childhood and my mother’s. I used to think of this contrast only in one direction, as in how much more my children have than their grandmother did at their age: freedom, security and material comfort.
Now, I think there is another contrast: My children’s generation, with all of its material advantages, still struggles with resilience and character.