Rosh Hashanah is approaching. The Jewish New Year.
And there’s a big difference between the secular New Years and Rosh Hashanah.
At New Years parties, people try to “lose themselves”.
On Rosh Hashana?
We’re supposed to find ourselves!
… I hope you were inspired by Monday’s story about Mort Friedman in Israel.
I met Mort around eight years ago.
He had heard that CTN has programs for Jews with limited Jewish learning experience.
(A.K.A “Jews who need a tune up”!)
And he was interested.
But he was very hesitant. And very nervous.
“What kind of Rabbis are these? Will they respect me?
Do they even consider me Jewish”?
But Mort was always brave!
He came to a Seder workshop I gave in Glencoe. “To check me out”!
As the saying goes, the rest is history!
Today when we see each other, we hug.
… First Mort studied with the CTN Rabbis.
Then we matched him up with a Torah study partner.
A very knowledgeable and sensitive businessman in the community.
They’ve been learning together for years and have become close friends.
… This past year an amazing thing happened.
Mort and his study partner finished an entire section (one sixth!) of the Mishna.
(Mishna is the first teachings of the Talmud, put into writing in the Second Century)
We had a huge celebration for friends and family at the CTN Center.
And here’s one of the things Mort said.
‘Until this day, besides life cycle events like marriage and the birth of children?
There was one high point in my life.
The day I argued a case before the United States Supreme Court.
(Mort is a retired attorney.)
The excitement of learning Torah and reaching this milestone far surpasses that”!
… Hopefully Israel won’t need wartime volunteers again.
And we won’t need to follow Mort’s example.
But there’s another gift we can give the Jewish People and ourselves.
We can be inspired by Mort to upgrade our Jewish learning.
And if Mort can do it, so can we!
Consider joining “Study Buddy”.
Let us match you up with a great Torah partner and learn whatever interests you.
Textual study, Hebrew, Jewish ethics, history, philosophy, prayer, Jewish ritual.
You name it.
And have a great time doing it!
So this Rosh Hashanah, don’t just make a resolution.
But email me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
And someday down the line?
We’ll throw a big party for you, too!