Anyone remember the 1965 World Series, Dodgers vs. Twins? Sandy Koufax was the starting pitcher for the Dodgers, but he refused to play. It was Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Koufax refused to pitch in front of 48,000 spectators at Metropolitan Stadium. He went to prayer services instead.
At sundown this evening, we celebrate Yom Kippur. It is a time for reflection and introspection on the past, and making good resolutions for the future.
I would like to extend an invitation to our wonderful community to join us at Novato City Hall at 10 a.m. Tuesday, for some prayer, insights and humor about what this day is all about.
Here is just one small insight I would like to share with everyone: One of the most perplexing and puzzling stories in the Bible is the story of the Binding of Issac. G-d commands Abraham to climb a mountain and bring up his only child, Issac, as a sacrifice. Abraham willingly agrees to carry out His wishes. At the final moments, an angel appeared to Abraham, and told him, "Do not cast your hand on the lad. I now see that indeed you are trustworthy and faithful to G-d." How can G-d command Abraham to do such a thing? How can Abraham consent?
Many commentaries explain this story in great detail; I feel there is a simple, yet noteworthy, message here that is often overlooked.Why did G-d have to command Abraham "Climb a mountain"? Who cares where it took place?
Climbing a mountaintop has the connotation of solitude and isolation. On that day, Abraham was very much alone. There were no headlines in local newspapers about his faithfulness or his achievements. There was no fanfare. He was his own man. He met G-d alone on the top of a mountain. The story of Abraham is not just a story of an individual, that happened 3,700 years ago. The story of Abraham is my story, it's your story.This story is not just applauding Abraham and what he did 3,700 years ago. It is applauding each and every single one of us who meet G-d alone on the top of a mountain. Those of us who step up with courage for our convictions, ready to make sacrifices in our lives, whether big or small, even when nobody is looking, no one patting us on our back. We are climbing our personal mountains to meet G-d alone on the top.
Every human has their own struggles. We all have our burdens and mountains we need to climb. For some it might be in relationships. For others in their jobs and business ethics. We can have a struggle with getting in touch with ourselves and our spirituality. I can't climb your mountain and you can't climb mine. But we have to keep climbing. It might seem lonely, but know that your biggest Fan is Applauding and Cheering for you, to meet Him on top of the the mountain.
A Sweet New Year for all Novatoans, filled with an abundance of health, happiness and prosperity. Shana Tova.