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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reflections On T'shuvah (classic video included)

The month of Elul is traditionally the time where we Jews speak of repentance and atone for our many sins. Yet Judaism recognizes that the season of t'shuvah is not limited to the High Holidays. We Jews have much that we need to repent for, and I fear that we need to repent year-round for a terribly un-Jewish ethos that we have adopted when it comes to treating the "stranger" with respect. The stranger comes in many forms. Oppressed Palestinians yearning for autonomy and self-expression under the boot of Jewish occupation. The homosexual who would like to gallivant through the streets of Meah Shearim while holding his lover's hand without getting lynched by Jewish fundamentalists who forget the most basic Jewish commandment of all. And many many others. The following classic episode of "The Rabbi Lemming Show" addresses this collective need for t'shuvah, in particular, for our sins against our Arab cousins. While the episode was recorded several years back during the month of Elul, it's message is timeless and necessary for all seasons. Enjoy the show. I must warn you, though. The last minutes of the show are rather shocking, and indeed they are still very traumatic to me. You will understand why when you watch the clip. But I shan't complain. I have always been willing to passively endure great physical violence upon my person in the pursuit of social justice and peace. Shalom.

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