High Holiday Pressure Is On
y Jewish News arrives on Thursdays. If that holds
true for you this week, then you're in receipt
of my column on ... the first full day of Rosh
That gives me shpilkus. Me? Writing
a column on the High Holidays? How
did this get by my esteemed editors?
Wouldn't this space have been better
served by a more scholarly journalist
who could impart words of wisdom
on our Jewish New Year? Someone
who doesn't have to use a thesaurus to
sound more smarter? (I feel like I just
wrote a nasty letter to the editor ...
Stuck with this awesome responsibil-
ity has only made me appreciate more
the pressure our rabbis face in prepar-
ing their holiday sermons. Let's face it, a
High Holiday sermon is the Jewish ver-
sion of a State of th e Union address. A rabbi doesn't want to be
a singles hitter on Rosh Hashanah. They have to swing for the
fences. Calling Rabbi Cabrera to the bimah. I'd rather deliver a
speech to a joint session of Congress than a full house of dues-
paying synagogue members. Tough crowd.
We hang on our rabbis' every word during their sermons.
It's the single most important part of the holiday service, if
you don't include getting out of the shul parking lot. A tip of
my yarmulke to our rabbis because most of the time they do
deliver in the clutch. But the pressure. The same pressure I'm
feeling right now, some 300 words into my column, and still
not a trace of wisdom or inspiration to be found.
While I try to think of something profound, let me share this.
With the Day of Atonement on the horizon, I'm wondering how
a couple of Jews in particular will be judged this year. Anthony
Weiner. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall during
God's Book of Life review session. "He did what with what?!"
I can hear God bel-
low. Oh, Anthony,
you put the twit in
Weiner does get
written into the
Book of Life, my
money says God
uses invisible ink.
Can you imagine, this guy was actually the leading contender
to become New York's next mayor?! If you think God was
tough when he didn't let Moses into the Promised Land, I can
only imagine what he has in store for the Wein-man.
Then there's Milwaukee Brewers baseball player Ryan
Braun, the son of a Jewish father, and he also identifies as
Jewish. He lied about using performance-enhancing drugs
and has been suspended by baseball for 65 games. How will
he be judged on Yom Kippur? I just hope the headlines don't
read: "Braun tests positive for breaking fast early!"
Here's some advice, Ryan: On Yom Kippur, pull out two
photographs, one of Hank Greenberg and one of Sandy
Koufax. No words necessary, just those two images alone
should send a message. By the way, if my research serves
me well — and by research, I mean I spent all of 20 seconds
Googling — Greenberg and Koufax both sat out post-season
games that fell on the High Holidays. Oy, such nice boychiks.
Ryan, you should be so good.
Oh gee, don't look now but my word count for this month's
column has been exhausted! Shucks. I guess I'll have to leave
it up to your rabbi to motivate you this High Holiday season.
I'm off the hook! Only enough words left to say, rshanah
Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker and
emcee. Visit his website at laughwithbigal.com and "Like" Al on
Sept. 5-11, 2013 I 1-7 Tishrei 5774 I Vol. CXLIV, No. 5
Shabbat and Holiday Lights
Dining Around the D . 40
Israel . 1,5, 8, 36, 48, 50
Out & About
Points Of View
Staff Box/Phone List ...6
Rosh Hashanah: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 7:43 p.m.
Thursday, Sept 5, 8:43 p.m.
Yom Kippur: Friday, Sept. 13, 7:27 p.m.
Holiday Ends: Saturday, Sept 14 8:26 p.m.
Shabbat Shuvah: Friday, Sept. 6, 7:39 p.m.
Shabbat Ends: Saturday, Sept. 7, 8:39 p.m.
Fast of Gedalyah: Sunday, Sept. 8, 5:53 a.m -
Times are from Yeshiva Beth Yehudah calendar.
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September 5 • 2013