Archive for Judaism
Hank ‘Ebbna’ Ebner was honored Friday, May 9th, 2010 for his saintly service to the University of Iowa Hillel. His spirit and dedication for the organization was highlighted by director Jerry Sorokin and commemorated through the gift of a Siddur and plate on a plaque. In addition, the mob closet was officially named in honor of his hard work! From all of your friends in Iowa City, congratulations Hank, and good luck to you as you embark on life’s journey.
While I’ve personally offered to chop off Gus’s hair and give it to ‘Locks for Mops’ (an organization that provides mops to under-privileged families), the bagels and fish were pretty amazing. Add some onions, tomatoes, and cream cheese, and you have yourself a real good ol’ fashioned Sunday brunch.
This is the time of year that we aspire to transform the wrong moments into that which are spiritually and socially honorable. A time of reflection, a time of asking, and a time of forgiving.
Forgiveness. I would argue it’s more important to forgive than to be forgiven. Why? It takes a bit of courage to ask, but understanding and compassion to forgive. But why now? Why every year? Why this obligation?
Friday’s D’var Torah. For the first time I realized something that hadn’t really occurred to me… or maybe I just didn’t want to come to realize. The reality is, no one knows for sure whether God forgives or punishes, is merciful or mercilous. Your prayers are never a guarantee, but without them you’ve done nothing. The truth is, your positive, proper, loving actions are your only salvation. Even in biblical times, the outcome was uncertain. Sometimes God was the protector, other times He was an exactor or punisher. All that can really be said is that the laws by which He has asked us to live by, and adherence to those laws, is the only true shot at living a rich, meaningful, and healthy life.
So during Yom Kippur, we repent. To God, to ourselves, and maybe most importantly others. We repent for all those things we should have done but didn’t, and those things which we did and we shouldn’t have. It’s about things as simple as the fast food abuse to our bodies and as complex as the lustful abuses of our minds, and the social abuse of our relationships no matter how small, no matter how seemingly insignificant. It’s about remembering that even when we think we’ve done nothing wrong, it’s possible that we have. It’s about forgiving ourselves once we’ve received forgiveness from others.
It’s about making ourselves, our relationships, and our daily lives honest, meaningful, and pure.
May you be inscribed in the book of life and may you find forgiveness in all places in which you look.