Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sukkoth and anti-Semitism


Jewish date:  19 Tishri 5770.

Today’s holiday:  Ḥol hamMo‘edh Sukkoth.

Worthy cause of the day:  “Tell the EPA: Regulate Dirty Coal Ash” and “Take Action: Send your senators The Ten Riskiest Foods Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Report!”.

Topic 1:  Certain Jewish rituals may be described as experiential drama.  Sitting out in a sukkah and having to deal with the threat of (and actual) rain, I have been reminded of the instability of our situation.  Nothing in life is truly stable.  On small scales, the second law of thermodynamics makes life a constant struggle against entropy.  Everything crumbles and decays.  Even neutrons and protons may someday decay.  On larger scales, everything is in transition.  Living things keep evolving.  The landscape is always in flux.  The continents keep moving.  Moons, planets, stars, galaxies, and galactic clusters are always moving.  On the human scale, situations which seem stable inevitably change in a matter of years.  On longer scales, populations have been shifted literally all over the planet.  Sitting in the sukkah makes us realize just how fragile and temporary our situation really is and how much we are really dependent on YHWH.

Topic 2:  “Opinion: Speaking out is a risky business” and “Opinion: Like it or not, the Temple Mount is key to peace”.  Articles on Arab/Islamic anti-Semitism.