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Posts Tagged ‘Yom Kippur’

The Jewish Adjustment Bureau

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Rachael Posted:

A few days ago I saw the movie “The Adjustment Bureau” starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.  I liked the movie because it was fun and not the thriller/chaser/blood & guts film you might expect.


For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie and wants to, please stop reading now because I’m going to discuss some of the core ideas.


The movie plays with the idea that there are many levels of ‘messengers’ or ‘agents’ who do the bidding of a higher power called ‘The Chairman’.  For every person there is a plan and these agents make sure that we are all staying on our plan because chance circumstances can sometimes derail things.  It’s a great concept to play with even to the point of having someone trip and fall which delays them just those few seconds needed to miss a bus etc. etc.


The bump in the plan is when the two heroes are determined to be together even though they’re not supposed to be.  The movie raises the question of whether or not you can change your plan.  After the movie I had a fantastic discussion about the Jewish themes that weave throughout the movie.  The concept of ‘angels‘ or ‘agents’ follows a Jewish thread but most importantly, the idea that determination and genuine heartfelt commitment can indeed change our fates, our ‘plans’.


That is the essence of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  The idea that there is a destiny drafted for each of us but that we can effect that draft before it is sealed.  We are in part the creators of our own destinies.  That’s why Judaism says we should choose every action we take and not allow things to ‘just happen’.


I definitely recommend the movie.  :-)


An introspective day

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

In participating in Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services this weekend at shul, I promised myself that I would chat less and focus on the tefillot more.  While I typically pray/sing in Hebrew, when it came to the vidui and al chet (confession) prayers, I found myself struggling to understand the language.  I turned to the English translation and thought of a personal example that I had committed in the last year for each.  If I couldn’t think of a personal example, I thought of a generic example and asked myself if I partook. This simple exercise of introspection made praying, asking for forgiveness and fasting much more meaningful to me.

May we be written into and sealed in the Book Of Life!

Online Selichot

Monday, September 14th, 2009

While Rabbis may not recommend this as an act that replaces Selichot, it certainly does cater to those who may not make it to synagogue for the real deal.  I found SORRY, SORRY, SORRY on the Tablet magazine
site.  There, you’ll find a phone number to call in your apology to whomever you choose. The editors of the magazine will choose one apology per day throughout the month of Elul and up until Yom Kippur to be featured on the page.  Check it out daily to keep up. Today’s features an apology to a dog.  Click here to read further.

The recession has touched it all

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I’m going to be honest with you. Until the global recession started, I didn’t really know what a recession was.  I mean, I knew the word recede and I had heard of previous recessions but I really didn’t understand its impact.  As the year unfolded, I became more aware of the implications among various industries. Auto sales were down, fast food sales were up.  More people were renting movies than taking small loans out to treat their family to a night at the movies.

When I received my weekly copy of the CJN this afternoon, I read about increased subsidy applications at Jewish Day Schools, slightly lower enrollment and I learned that religious participation whether in schools or at synagogues/churches/temples is one of the first to go when times are tough.  Check out this interesting article: Recession Gets Religion.

Maybe a keen web saavy developer should create an online repentance forum for those who won’t be making it to shul this year on Yom Kippur because of membership and ticket prices…