Like all of our work on these High Holy Days, a “User Review” draws us out of our own individual concern and calls us to see the wider world around us.
As the late British theoretical physicist Sir Charles Frank once said, “Crystals are like people: it is the defects in them that make them interesting.”
One wonderful metaphor for the shofar blast on Rosh Hashanah is that of an alarm clock, waking us up to the ways we have acted, and helping us to become the people we wish to be. But all too often, we are likely to hit the snooze button.
“Freedom” is not a binary state – either we are free, or we are not. Rather, “freedom” is a matter of degree, but while we may not be completely “free,” we still are responsible.
There are two Hebrew words that we say many, many times over these High Holy Days. Those two Hebrew words are, of course, shanah tovah. And yet we almost always mistranslate them.
Reflecting on the past is not the real purpose of memory. Instead, as Professor Steve Joordens says, memory is “any time when a past experience has an effect on current or future behavior.” In other words, memory is not about the past – memory is really about the present and the future.