Where Every Jew is Family

Are you Jewish?

What’ would you answer?  It’s been reported that the shooter in Oregon asked students if they were Christian before shooting them if they answered in the affirmative.

This got me thinking?  “What would I/you answer if presented with this scenario?”  I’m sure many of us would like to stand up for our faith, our identity and say yes, knowing full well that this would sign our death warrant. But would we when actually looking down that barrel?

Well, I pray that none of us, or anyone, for that matter, needs to make that decision.  But when faced with such a question, we can certainly extrapolate it to other areas.  Thank G-d, no one is holding a gun to our head and asking us to “out” ourselves as Jews.  But what about when that paycheck is pointed at us?  Or even just the prospect of embarrassment or possibility of being judged when we’re presented with the opportunity to participate in a mitzvah or Jewish event at the expense of work or some social event – or when the rabbi asks you to shake a lulav 😉

Tonight is Sh’mini Atzeret/Simchat Torah!  It’s often an overlooked holiday, but perhaps the most essential!  It simply expresses to G-d our love for who we are as Jews.  We dance with the Torah, not learn it.  It’s not dependent on our knowledge or religiosity.  We just delight in the mere fact that G-d has chosen us to be His special nation.  A guiding light to others.  The builders of His sacred home down here in this world.

If you consider yourself a “twice a year Jew,” this is definitely one of those days you should pick.  Click here for an event near you.

If you’re in the Oswego area, come to 56 Franklin Ave. at 7pm tonight and 8pm tomorrow.  Chag Same’ach!

~Rabbi Yossi

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