Two whales, Emperors, Yom Kippur and integrity

October 2, 2007 at 4:40 am Leave a comment

Since moving to the valley we have done a bit of synagogue shopping. Not that we go very often – we do not. Pretty much its Yom Kipper services once a year. And in the last three years I think we finally settled on Hillel @ Stanford.

This year, Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann [rabbipkn at stanford dot edu] which both me and Chimene have learned to appriciate (And she is the main reason we chose Stanford Hillel), gave quite a thoughtful sermon about hmm.. whales. And Emperors. An more then anything – Integrity.

I had Idan with me – so was hard to follow. As I learned later on, two years old is the worst age to take a child with you to service. Especially if you just landed a few hours before and the kid has not seen you for a week. So after Naeelah, we chatted and she kindly agreed to share the text with me. So Here it is. And a teaser below.

And no – reading it – and reflecting about it – does not require being Jewish. Human yes. Jewish or religious – no.

This past May, California was riveted by the travels of two wayward humpback whales. A mother whale and her calf exited the Pacific Ocean and swam 90 miles inland up the Sacramento River. For over a week, amidst crowds of onlookers, the Coast Guard and wildlife experts attempted to coax the whales back to the ocean…

And you thought all those jokes about St. Peter at the Pearly Gates originated in the Vatican? Oh No – we have our own version! Since Yom Kippur is our rehearsal for that heavenly moment, we need to ask the four questions now and every year on this holy day. What do you think the rabbis imagined God would ask us? Questions like: Did we pray every day? Did we keep kosher? Did we celebrate Shabbat every week? Curiously, the questions they recorded had nothing to do with ritual practice. They had everything to do with integrity.”


Entry filed under: crime, Integrity, Random Thoughts, Yom Kippur.

Big brother and transparent society Snipers needed

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