Attention Rabbis: Stop With The Mussar Already

27 Sep

I can barely tolerate shul on the best of days, but Elul has got to be the worst. Every Rabbi (ok, 99%) tries to put you in the holiday spirit by telling you what’s wrong with yourself/the Jewish people/the world/etc.

Enough already! I don’t want to hear your guilt trips. Give me some encouragement, or, if you weren’t trained to do that, just a nice vort. I’ve got enough shame and guilt in my life already, I’m not interested in you finding more problems.

Look at this Rabbi, giving apples and honey out to strangers on the beach. That’s what I want. Set out a plate of apples in honey to put me in the mood for the High Holy days. That’s what they did in kindergarden, and I loved Rosh Hashanah then. Today, I dread it.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I was a kid then, and they made it nice for us, but who cares? Isn’t that what the Rabbi on the beach is doing? Making it nice for people? How come you only get that treatment when you’re starting out? Why are there apples and honey for “Outreach on the beach”, but when you get inside the “real thing”, all you get is preaching and crying?

It seems like Kiruv people have to work up a whole new religion. They use the same building blocks, but they leave off or downplay the nasty parts and put the focus on the positive things. Well, why can’t we do the same thing? Why can’t Rosh Hashanah be about apples and honey and getting in touch with our feelings and all that stuff? I think if we’d be able to do that, we’d actually have a Sweet New Year, instead of just saying it to each other and then trying to make ourselves scared enough to cry. I’m sick and I’m tired, and I just simply cannot take any more of this dark, depressing, fire and brimstone crap.

I’m starting the Rosh hashanah revolution. I’m gonna call it Rosh Hashanah: Days of Awesome. Tell your Rabbi, tell your friends. Are you with me?

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4 Responses to “Attention Rabbis: Stop With The Mussar Already”

  1. E. Fink September 27, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    FYI: I don’t do preaching and crying either.

    • itchemeyer September 27, 2011 at 1:18 am #

      🙂 Sign me up. Can you do an East coast RH telecast?

      • E. Fink September 27, 2011 at 10:37 am #

        …or you could just come to Venice for Rosh Hashanah.

  2. tesyaa September 27, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    They use the same building blocks, but they leave off or downplay the nasty parts and put the focus on the positive things. Well, why can’t we do the same thing? Why can’t Rosh Hashanah be about apples and honey and getting in touch with our feelings and all that stuff?

    Even if you’ve become mostly immune to the guilt, as I have, why all the other crazy RH/YK stuff? Why can’t I serve “pas palter” in my house for 10 days? (Actually I can serve it, just my husband won’t eat it). Why does my schedule have to get effed up by my husband going to slichos? Etc.

    And we don’t do as much crazy stuff as most people.

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