Posted by Amanda Chapel
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Happy New Year! Happy Rosh Hashana!
For those unfamiliar, today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Actually, it's a two-day holiday that began at sundown Wednesday. Rosh Hashana marks the height of the Jewish spiritual calendar. It is a time to reassess one's existence, re-order priorities and take note of one's place in the world. It is the Day of Remembrance, the day to keep in mind G-d's sovereignty over the universe. The Sounding of the Shofar, the ancient musical instrument made from a ram's horn, is a call to penitence.
With that in mind, yesterday we were reminded of our call to reflection by our friend Jeremy Jacobs, the "Corporate Presenter." He asked us four questions. I've asked our resident Rabbi, Mark Rose, to answer them.
1) Are we better off now than last year?
Absolutely. We are riding a wave of stock market outperformance that the sub prime market mess has not erased. Hedge funds, praise the grand rebbe Menachim Schneerson and his holy apartment in Brooklyn, have spawned mega wealth and a ballooning real estate market that shows no signs of abating in New York City, the only place that matters. I consulted the Kaballah and it said I should give 10 percent of my wealth to Schmul the idiot who dances naked in the rain on the corner of 108th street and Broadway. This is the holiest of the tzadick. I see measurably better returns for Jews in the stock market this year. If you're a goy, I would consider switching to bonds. To answer the question: if you're the Chosen, you're better off. If not, it doesn't really matter.
2) Did we spend our time and energy wisely?
That depends. I spent my time wisely by not going to Social Media Club meetings, mostly because they did not exist. I did not spend my time wisely when I dawdled for over an hour in Second Life before I realized it was more useless than a screen door in a submarine. I spent a significant amount of time this summer doing virtually nothing but observing nature, and found how gloriously productive that can be.
3) What difference did we make to people's lives?
How do you ever know? You do the best you can moment to moment and you hope that in the end, whenever that is, it amounts to something to somebody. How do you know? I wish that collectively we could stop a war and save lives and end suffering, disease and violent division. Maybe next year.
4) How is this year going to be different from all other years?
I have a strong feeling, praise the grand rebbe, that this will be the most spectacular of years, when many years of pent-up possibilities flourish and are given life. There is no limit this year.
From all of us at Strumpette, L'shana tova tikatevu (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for Good).