Elul is the last month of the Jewish year, and it is a time we Jews pay particular attention to reviewing our actions of the past year and resolving to do better in the year ahead. But self-reflection and a close examination of our values and priorities is good for all of us, all the time.
During Elul the College and ProfessionalConcussion Season began.
I offer this prayer:
Be with all of those who–serving at the altar of the American religion of football–will suffer brain-addling injuries that will shorten their lives, thwart their ability to think, spawn depression, lead some to suicide, and make pain their constant companion.
When the Jewish New Year arrives, many of us will hear in our synagogues the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac.
Its lesson is not that God was unfair to ask such a thing of the one with whom God covenanted to make a more just caring and compassionate society.
And it is not that Abraham failed the test.
No, “They went together…” (Genesis 22:6 and 8) the Eternal One, Abraham and Isaac to Mount Moriah and back to teach us once and for all that God abhors and categorically rejects human sacrifice.
Well we know that humanity–though created “In the image of God,” (Genesis 1:26,27) has not learned the lesson!
Those of us who feel called—whether we are Jewish Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, another religion or atheist–to live, teach and encourage others to make this world the best place we possibly can might urge our society to do better!
—Will we abhor and turn away from the death dealing gladiatorial spectacle of big time football?
—Will we have the courage to speak out against this multi billion dollar industry?
—Or will we “stand idly by the blood of our neighbors,” (Leviticus 19:16) or worse, join the chorus of sis boom bahs watching and cheering the carnage in the arena or in front of our TVs, ignoring our own assertions that Black lives matter, White lives matter, Hispanic lives matter–indeed that all lives matter, and none is acceptable as a sacrifice for our entertainment.