Shemini Atzeret/Simcha Torah Parshat Bereshit
The joyous but bittersweet final days of the chaggim remind us--as we wildly dance with, deeply long for, and proudly read from the Torah--that we are, without question, the people of The Book. As I listened to my daughter Noa chant early this morning in synagogue for Hoshana Rabbah, I imagined the exultation on the face of my 89-year-old father Charles who was just then landing in Israel, the spiritual home that he raised me and my sisters to love. It is the intense desire to carry on that message that led me to continue these weekly parsha dramas for a second full year that ends on Friday as we read about the death of Moses. What a great gift that we immediately return to the beginning to read G-d's creation of the world and humankind. (Hopefully the accompanying visual from the Garden of Eden by way of the Manhattan skyline needs no explanation.) With my wonderful creative partner Kecha Jackson--who helps manage our home and our lives with grace, humor and wisdom--I have tried to visually bring to life the Bible's resonant stories, laws, and lessons so that my children (who still tease me about these posts) will continue to appreciate the great privilege and responsibility of our religion and our peoplehood. While I had not planned to continue, I am addicted to what I have come to think of as the "Biblical Buffet" (most of the kitschy creations end up on our Shabbat table). While I may repeat images and words that I have used before, I will never fail to be inspired by The Book that transforms our lives and our complicated world every day. Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!