In honor of Rosh Hashanah a Jewish newspaper interviewed me. Not that many read that paper 🙂 so I figured that I would post the interview. Here goes:
“So Rabbi Bluming is it true about your congregation as well, that Jews seem to come out of the woodwork for the high holidays?”
“Yes,” replied Menachem Mendel Bluming, “it is truly incredible and heartwarming.”
“Heartwarming?”, we asked. “It seems that it is just Jewish guilt. After all, where are they all year?!”
“Jews used to feel a lot of guilt. That is so last century.” Mendel Bluming asserted.
“Really? We thought that guilt is as Jewish as bagels and lox!” We asked Bluming.
“In my experience Jews see themselves as good people, not sinful people. They are right. After all after communism and the Holocaust and the previous generation that to a large extent gave them little or no Jewish education the mitzvot that they do are so incredible! How can they be called sinful?” Menachem Bluming shared.
“So to what do you attribute the Jewish awakening around the high holidays?” We asked Rabbi Menachem Mendel Bluming.
“The Baal Shem Tov shares a parable of a king who wanted to bring out the deepest strength in his child. He gave the child tremendous resources and sent him far from the palace. The lessons that he would learn and the resistance to outside influences that he would have to exert would bring out great strength in him.” Bluming taught.
“Over time he squandered his resources and became assimilated and distracted. One day he woke up in a cold sweat and had a deep longing to reconnect with his father the king. He took whatever he had and ran to his father’s palace. Alas, he could not even remember the language of the palace and his father’s kingdom and so he just cried out, “Daddy!!!” A parent knows the cry of their child and his father came out to embrace him. This is what happens each Rosh Hashanah and this is why each soul stirs and has a deep longing to connect.”
I hope that you find this insightful and I wish you and yours a sweet new year!
Menachem M. Bluming