Either/And – High Holidays 5779/2018

These talks will be part of High Holiday services in September 2018 for Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation and later available on The Kol Hadash Podcast and as separate posts here (adult events only). If you are interested in celebrating the Jewish New Year with us in Deerfield, Illinois, please email our office or call 847-383-5184.

It is too easy to think of life as a zero sum game, with binary choices between irreconcilable alternatives. While it is important to understand and accept differences, it is also important to try to bridge gaps and find ways to win-win. Can we connect with “and” instead of “or”?

Rosh Hashana Evening: Me and We
The eternal battle between individual and community defines the human and the Jewish condition. What to give to others and what to guard for myself? Happiness, freedom, dignity, justice depend on the proper balance of me and we.

Rosh Hashana Morning: Us and Them
Rejection and fear of “the other” is deeply rooted in human psychology and culture. Can we build group loyalty on positive attraction rather than suspicion of the outside? An open family that includes both “us” and “them” may be the most successful future for the Jewish people in the 21st Century.

Rosh Hashana Family: Old and Young
What can adults learn from children? And what should adults try to teach? The next generation learns from what we do even more than what we say, so self-improvement also means showing our children how to do better.

Yom Kippur Evening: Good and Evil
In a post-modern, post-revelation world, defining good and evil is challenging and yet necessary. Can we admit when we have done wrong, and can we accept when our opponents do right? What is an honest difference of opinion, and what is truly evil that must be resisted?

Yom Kippur Morning: Here and There
The smaller the world gets, the harder it is to live together. Some would abolish all borders and barriers, while others would raise them higher. As America builds walls, as Israelis and “Diaspora” Jews grow farther apart, we grapple with complex identities: individuals, Americans, part of the Jewish family, and human beings. Can we feel connected to “here” and “there”, rather than choosing one or the other?

Yom Kippur Family – Today and Tomorrow
Not everything old is out of date, and not everything new is better. How do we decide what to keep and what to change? The choices we make today will stay with us when tomorrow comes.

Yom Kippur Memorial – Then and Now
The present becomes past very quickly – it is shocking to find what we think of as current events in a history book. Yet sometimes time collapses and past becomes present, especially when we remember deep connections. The perspective we gain on intimate loss provides consolation when then becomes now again.

About Rabbi Adam Chalom

Adam Chalom is the Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in north suburban Chicago. He is also the Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism.
This entry was posted in High Holidays, Holidays, Kol Hadash Shofar and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Either/And – High Holidays 5779/2018

  1. Pingback: Me and We | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  2. Pingback: Us and Them – Rosh Hashana Morning 5779/2018 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  3. Pingback: Good and Evil – Yom Kippur Evening 5779 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  4. Pingback: Here and There – Yom Kippur Morning 5779 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

  5. Pingback: Then and Now – Yom Kippur Memorial 5779 | Shalom from Rabbi Chalom

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