#BlogElul 2 – Act



It has often been said that Judaism is a religion of action, rather than faith. Not that faith is not important, but action is what counts.

I saw a Facebook post the other day, in which one of my non-Jewish friends proclaimed that he was going to hell. Not because of something he did, but because of something he thought of doing but didn’t do. In Judaism, that would actually be considered meritorious – resisting the temptation to do a bad thing is in some ways better, and it is definitely harder, than doing a good thing.

The days of preparation for Rosh Hashanah are supposed to be spiritually contemplative, reviewing the sins, of commission and of omission, of the past year. But they are also jam-packed with action. My son is learning how to blow the shofar so he can help with the arduous job in our minyan. On Rosh HaShanah the shofar is traditionally blown a hundred times over the course of each day. That’s a lot of breath.

I will probably be leading some of the services this year again. It has been a privilege and a joy for me, and I hope to be able to do it for many years to come. One of the reasons we love our downstairs minyan is because it is so participatory, allowing each person who so wishes to join in the actions of the community, not be a passive spectator as so often happens during these massive events.

How about you, what kind of actions are you contemplating for the Season of Repentance?

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