point, in text and/or video format, but other than that, no new blogs. So as we wrap up our fourth year together (crazy, isn't it?), what else is there to say? We're finishing up a year of blog posts, we're finishing up the Torah reading cycle, and we're preparing ourselves for the end of the month of Elul, and thus the start of the High Holidays. There's got to be SOMETHING we can take away from the convergence of all these transitional moments???
As usual, Moses is the one who comes to the rescue, giving us the words to help focus our thoughts. "Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not
in the heavens, that you should say, 'Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it...?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it...?' No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it." (Deut. 30:11-14) First of all, what is 'this Instruction'? Usually, we would say it's THE Torah, but here the Hebrew says 'Ha-mitzvah ha-zot,' this mitzvah. So it's really open for debate. And, in many ways, Moses' grand plea here is the same sentiment I've tried to convey throughout my four years of writing this blog.
It is all very close to you, close to your heart. What is YOUR take on the Torah? What is your perspective/opinion/reaction/thought on this Instruction that you see before you? Because, at the end of the day, it ain't about what I think, it's about what Judaism and the Torah and the High Holidays mean to YOU.
And you don't have to be a scholar, rabbi, or cantor to offer an opinion; that's comparable to saying that all this stuff is somewhere up in heaven or across an ocean. And it isn't! It's yours for the taking as well!! So use the opportunity of these High Holidays, and this restarting of the Jewish year, to think about where you are. What does Judaism mean to you? What will your role be in your Jewish community? And how do these two questions impact your everyday life, at work, home, the gym, and walking outside in the street?
I've sincerely enjoyed writing this blog for over four years now and 200+ posts (how is that even possible??). And I also want to say 'thank you' to everyone who has sent me e-mails, stopped me in the hallway at Ohev, or commented in some other way on what I've been writing. But even
here, on my blog, it shouldn't be all about me and my opinions. Do you have something to say? Either in a comment on a blog post, or in an e-mail to me about something you'd like to see discussed? Your input is welcomed - and HIGHLY encouraged - here at Take on Torah. Sometimes the Internet can make things seem really distant and remote. But I promise you, none of this is up in heaven or across an ocean. It's very, very close to you, and super-easy to access. As we head into our fifth year together, and as we all prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as well as the new year ahead, maybe it's time for you to discover your very own Take on Torah?
Photos in this blog post: