Sunday, September 25, 2022

Welcoming 5783


Tonight begins Rosh Ha'Shana, the Jewish New Year. Unlike the secular one, this is a time for introspection and consideration of that which has gone awry, as well as that which is not so shabby. For me, this is always a bit of a quiet period, running from Rosh Ha'Shana through the last two days of Sukkot...which ends on October 18th. 

I can't help thinking about rachmones. Rachmones is a strange word with no adequate equivalent in English. Too often it is used in place of pity, but that's not the essence of rachmones; it's more like compassion, mercy, and empathy rolled into one. Grandma Bessie used to say, "Have a bisseleh rachmones on your mother and help mit da dishes." Ziggy loved that word and used it on me a lot. "A little rachmones over here, please. I'm trying to read with my eyes closed!" he would grumble as I was getting dressed in the morning, always before him. It was a catchphrase for acts of true loving kindness.

But in the big picture, rachmones is what this country lacks. We bus migrants to cities without thought of what will happen when they get there. We refuse entry to refugees running for their lives. We refuse visas for indigenous people from overseas who served and supported us in foreign wars...and whose lives are now at risk because they did. One might think that those living in the Goldeneh Medina, the Golden Land, would remember how this nation came to be originally formed, how we should've learned something about the treatment of fellow humans...

Or not.

So I will be writing little unless something strikes me as egregiously horrid. Frankly, I need the down time. The elections are already pissing me off. 

To those who observe, l'shana tova u'metukah; may you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet yea New Year.

Be of good cheer and all that jazz,


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