Sunday, September 24, 2006

A New Year

5767 is off to a good start. We attended Rosh Hashanah services at Oak Park Temple (which we joined about a year ago) on Saturday morning, and once again our rabbi gave an amazing sermon. So moving that the Temple President was reduced to tears, saying "I'm 63 years old, and I've waited my whole life to hear that sermon."

It was on the subject of the Rosh Hashanah Torah portion--the Bible story in which Abraham brings his son Isaac to the top of the mountain and prepares to sacrifice him to G-d. Only in Rabbi Gerson's interpretation, G-d was actually testing Abraham's ability to act ethically rather than on blind faith. He pointed out that Abraham tells Isaac G-d will provide a lamb when G-d actually provides a ram (a lamb's father) for the sacrifice. He goes on to emphasize that in today's world too many men--Muslims, Christians and Jews--are acting on blind faith, justifying horrible acts in the name of G-d, when they should really be acting ethically.

Another point of the sermon reinforced the Reform Jewish belief that the Bible is not infallible, but that it reflects the incomplete understanding of the people of its time. He says there are parts of the Bible (like those that state that gays should be stoned) that need to be measured against the more ethical whole of the book and put aside. I'm sure I'm not doing his sermon justice, but that was the jist of it. And, yes, I have New Year's resolutions, but I'm not going to print them here.

The rest of the weekend was relaxing and enjoyable. I babysat for Gloria's daughter L on Saturday night, and the two girls got to play together again on Sunday at the park. (Click here for more pictures.)

Josh and I decided we're ready to bite the bullet and buy a new car, so keep an eye on this page for updates. It's going to be a Toyota RAV4, a Honda CR-V or (less likely) a Subaru Forester or Outback. Brand-spanking new or just a couple of years old. We can't wait!