Happy New Year to us Heebs a thought on my sins

Happy New Year to Jews  

It is now the beginning of the New Year if you are Jewish. In reality, I celebrate two New Year’s, one Jewish and one Christian.

I don’t celebrate the Christian New Year as much. I think that cheese balls were invented just for New Year’s Day. What the hell is a cheese ball anyway? I watch football games, eat and watch television as light is dropped in front of a million crazy people freezing their collective tushies off in Times Square. Not a lot of deep meaning to that holiday.

 The Jewish New Year, however, is a bit more work. No football games unless Rosh Hashanah falls on a weekend. We usually eat apples and honey to symbolize a sweet New Year. Then we go to temples and hear the shofar.

 We, as Jews, are supposed to think about the sins we have committed in the past year. So one of the traditions is that we throw bread into the water to cast off our sins. Ducks and fish eat the bread and get constipated just for our sins. It is called Tashlich.

Throwing bread into the water also means we will eat less bread, which is a real positive, at least for me.

Called the days of awe, the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur determines whether you will be inscribed in the book of life, which I would assume is a pretty big book by now.

Rosh Hashanah is a happy holiday filled with the promise of a New Year. On the other hand, Yom Kippur is a somber holiday filled with recriminations, confessions of sin, and, generally, the ability to look back and examine one’s life.

The confession prayer where we admit our sins is called Al Chet.

I started to look at the sins that I have to repent for. When I told my wife that I would write about my sins in the past year, she said it would be more significant than war and peace. I am not overly religious. I am a “reformed conservadox,” meaning that I love all facets of Judaism but have not settled on one. In other words, I am confused.

I am not a Talmudic scholar, so I am warning you that if you read this, I will make mistakes (does that count as a sin ?). However, I have lots of questions as well.

1.   When is the last day that we can sin? Like any good accountant (of which I am not one), I would like to know the following.

A.   Can we throw some sins into the following year, or does it all count for this year? If Democrats are in control, all sins will be thrown out anyway. Just look at California.

B. Does this conform to GAP or God’s approved procedures?

C. If I am thinking about a potential sin this year, do I count it when I think about it, or if I commit it? I would assume this would answer the question of intent (double points here, against).

D.  Are we given a specific allowance for the percentage of sins that we commit to getting into the book, or is it just pass or fail?

E. How does God “grade” these? Are they on a community curve? If so, did Bernie Madoff lower the curve for all of us?

I have been reading up on some of the sins we have to watch out for, and I have concluded that it isn’t easy being a Jew. I can understand why Christianity wanted to “reform” this. When someone says, “Hey peeps, I will handle the sin part you guys just live,” it sounds appealing. OK, for the record, I am not saying I will do this (how much of a sin is it here even talking about it)? After all, it is a lot of work keeping up with the 613 commandments. I always wondered why they couldn’t just boil down the sins into a condensed version, like cut it out, stop it, be nice? … 

For that reason alone, I cannot list all of the sins here, so I will take out some highlights I need to address during services. I need some clarification on these direct quotes from the prayer book.

1. For the sin, which we have committed before you, under duress or willingly:

Does this mean that my speeding tickets would fall under this? If so, I plead guilty. But, unfortunately, duress is also in the eyes of the beholder. As a result, I am often late everywhere; it is a problem, believe me, so I have to weigh speeding to get there or risk the wrath of my wife, or friends, who will torture me because of my lateness.

2. And for the sin, which we have committed before you through speech:

This one is a bit hard because I have said many things about Biden this year. So the question here is TRUTH a defense for my “speech”? If not, I am in big trouble and will have to throw entire loaves of bread into the water during Tashlich.

3. And for the sin, which we have committed before you by improper thoughts:

This is trouble for me, believe me. I have a warped mind with a warped sense of humor. I think that it would go to the Supreme Court for interpretation on what is an improper thought. Is just the thought about what is an improper thought count as an improper thought?

4. And for the sin, which we have committed before you by verbal [insincere] confession:

I am OK with this, but there are many celebrities and famous people that would definitely burn for this one. How often have we said I am sorry and didn’t mean it? It was taken out of context….? Shhhhhh, don’t show this to my wife ☺

5. For the sin we have committed before you by disrespecting parents and teachers, is there a statute of limitations on this one?

If so, I am in big trouble. My parents have passed away, but I have had many years of not being too nice to teachers. Let’s just say that many prematurely retired after having me as a student. I just finished writing a book on that subject, so it is now fresh in my mind.

6. For the sin, which we have committed before you by the impurity of speech:

As a former Long Islander, this one hurts. I think that there is something in the water there that made us all use curse words so that I will be throwing entire loaves of bread into the f………………..n water.

7. And for the sin which we have committed before you by eating and drinking:

Busted: I love to eat, and I love wine. I am a social drinker, whatever that means. At what point does this sin kick in? I would assume probably breakfast buffets put me over the top. I am going with protein shakes now for breakfast. I hope this helps. The question here is, does God consider this each time or in the aggregate? I am hoping for the latter or ………………another two loaves, although there may be one only making it (sounds of eating).

8. And for the sin which we have committed before You by a haughty demeanor

Definitions of haughty on the Web:

Disdainful: having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy; Well, the name of my column is “You are entitled to my opinion, “so it is tough to get by that one. Eight loaves of bread here.

9. And for the sin we have committed before you in passing judgment. 

Busted once again, but as I said earlier, is TRUTH A DEFENSE? If not, I will be putting a truckload of bread for just what I said about Democrats.

10. And for the sins for which we are obligated to bring a burnt-offering.”

Anybody who has eaten my cooking knows that I am covered here.

For bad spelling and grammar, BUSTED. I made that up. I never understood why they don’t spell fo phonetic net ik t lee. 

Delivery for Larry Levine

Happy New Year

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