Religious : : Thoughts from Our Rabbi

A few months ago, Craig Taubman’s friend Bruce asked him: “What would it take to bring back Jewels of Elul?” Craig answered, “Time and money.” Bruce said, “What if I gave you the money?”

Bruce gave Craig Taubman two gifts – the funding for this year’s Jewels and their theme for this year 5779: What if?

“What if” is the ultimate dare – it is the permission to think outside of the box and to reach for what might be, could be, or ought to be. It is the spice of life and for some people that kind of thinking is the fuel that drives them through the day.

The High Holy Days are brilliant, annual, spiritual do-overs, to imagine and to reevaluate how we are doing in our lives. If we have a healthy willingness to ask “what if” questions – our thought experiment can lead to the next big – and little thing. It always has, and it always will.

I doubt that everyone will agree with all of the “what if” conclusions from this year’s Jewels of Elul, but what if we were open to asking the questions? We hope to have a copy for each person that would like to read this year’s Jewels of Elul.

My teacher Rabbi David Wolpe opens this year’s Jewels of Elul booklet by pointing out: Life is composed of finite facts and infinite possibilities. Part of the art of living is to take the possibilities and elevate those which enhance our lives, improve our world and grow our souls.

What follows in Jewels of Elul are 40 daily meditations on what might be. In our Talmud, one Rabbi has a dream about an upside down world. By stretching our minds, by what-iffing— we can broaden our vision and jumpstart our imaginations.

On the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days, we wonder what the world would be if… suddenly the gleam brightens, the blur sharpens, the vision beckons and we recognize that maybe, just maybe, this year we can turn the ‘if’ into ‘when.’

May this 5779 be a year of realized possibilities, a year of health and joy and peace for ourselves and for those we love.

L’shana tova tikateivu v’tichataimu,
Rabbi Dennis


From Sima & Rabbi ~ May the New Year bring you and those you love, good health, happiness, and much joy