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What To Do in 5773

Dr. Ruth, Shmuley Boteach, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, and 23 more on ensuring a meaningful year

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Niki Russ Federman, fourth-generation owner of Russ and Daughters, New York

My resolution for 5773 is to sit my tuchus down and meditate. When I have a regular practice of watching my mind, I find that I become more self-aware and compassionate, and a little less meshugenah. For that kind of benefit, I think, “Why don’t I do this every day, even if only for 10 or 20 minutes?” It’s not called a “practice” for nothing.

***

Doreen Carvajal, author

True confession: The first time I celebrated Rosh Hashanah was when I was a busy city reporter in my twenties and received an inopportune jury summons from the Philadelphia courts to serve that day. I had no idea then about my Catholic family’s secret Sephardic Jewish identity, but citing the holiday helped me escape duty for the moment. The Philadelphia courts knew something I obviously didn’t. They sent a new summons for Dec. 24. I served.

Now Rosh Hashanah has fresh meaning for me as I pursue a quest to restore our Jewish identity like some old farmhouse, stone by stone. I plan to celebrate this new year by working on the neglected foundation, reading the Hebrew Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Another confession: It is the first time.

***

Shalom Auslander, writer

Shalom Auslander

It was close.

So, so close.

I almost made it this year: to a new freedom, to a new benchmark of sanity and recovery. And then I called my shrink for an appointment.

He is a wise and caring man, but an Orthodox man as well; I forgive him this bit of insanity since he has cured so much of mine.

Can I see you next Monday? I asked.

He laughed.

Well, he replied, the good news is that I don’t have any other appointments that day.

Great, I said. What’s the bad news?

He laughed again.

The bad news, he said, is that it’s Rosh Hashanah.

Fuck, I thought.

Not just because it meant he wasn’t going to be seeing patients. But because I’d almost forgotten.

I’d almost, for the first time in my life, made it through the High Holidays without remembering that they were upon us. For me, this has always been a time of year marked by tension and stress—about God, about death, about punishment, about family. It is the Eseret Yemei Diarrhea, and most years I live on Immodium and Pepcid from Labor Day until October.

And this year, I’d almost made it.

I’d almost forgotten.

That is my goal: religious oblivion. Cultural unlearning.

That is where I will find meaning for next year: in, at last, forgetting.

I pressed the phone against my forehead and sighed.

OK, I said. How’s Wednesday?

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Can Shmuley Boteach go two seconds without promoting one of his books?

Ephraim_K says:

Can Shmuley Boteach go five seconds without promoting one of his books?

gwhepner says:

RESPONDING TO ONE OF EMILY NUSSBAUM’S ROSH HASHANAH
RESOLUTIONS

One of Emily Nussbaum’s Rosh Hashanah resolutions

is responding to the writers she admires.

I consider this to be the best of all solutions

for all the unread and unhappy versifiers

like me, and wonder whether it is possible to garner

from her a note of admiration for this verse.

Even if it isn’t, I wish Emily a shanah

that’s sweet, if she to what is sweet is not averse.

gwhepner@yahoo.com

Very surprised that Shmuely Boteach did beg for campaign money!

LAWINZ COHEN says:

I HOPE LESLIE EPSTEIN ENJOYS FRANCE

just wanted to say this might be my favorite piece on Tablet yet. awesome job, guys

Mr Auslander, hurry up already! but i do think your shrink sounds like a great fellow

He will be welcomed but I guess he won’t have to move

LAWINZ COHEN says:

too bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of Emily Nussbaum’s Rosh Hashanah resolutions is responding to the writers she admires. I consider this to be the best of all solutions for all the unread and unhappy versifiers like me, and wonder whether it is possible to garner from her a note of admiration for this verse.
I am beautiful woman and I love good
man…..inter racial romance is my dream… so I joined —blackwhitеPlanet.С0M—–it’s where to- connect
with beautiful and excellent people!, I wish Emily a shanah

that’s sweet, if she to what is sweet is not averse.

Miltonb says:

One of the nicest people I have met in my 38 years in book publishing is Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She was warm and empathetic. What more could you ask of an author? A true mensch.

Why does Tablet — or anyone — give space to Shalom Auslander? He has no point to make other than a continuing immersion in his Jewish self-loathing. If he hates being Jewish so much, why does he keep his name? It’s one thing to take issue with aspects of Jewish practice or culture; another thing entirely to wallow in self-indulgent victimhood ad nauseum.
Your readers deserve better.

Joshua Cohen, why be so ridiculous as to suggest resolution making is either “goyisher” or “narrischkeit”??? This only makes me suspicious that you’ve never given serious consideration to the reflective, re-aligning work of Teshuvah…

hash brown says:

See ‘kooloytoyra.blogspot.com’

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What To Do in 5773

Dr. Ruth, Shmuley Boteach, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, and 23 more on ensuring a meaningful year