Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Reform Way

Well, the Yom Kippur holiday is over. The fast is behind us and we begin the task of facing another year. There are so many parts of the service that speak to me and I will blog on them in upcoming days. Of course, we really aren’t given many days to reflect on the liturgy as the holiday of Sukkot starts in four nights, and we will all be focusing on the joyous time of that season.

Today, however, I am thinking about how Reform Judaism often has it “Right”. My wife, who works overnights, often takes the night after a fast off from work because it is so exhausting. So, if she worked Saturday night, she would have taken tonight off.

Of course, the following day we usually return to work and get back into the swing of things but often times we are still mentally and physically exhausted the next day. I teach at a Reform religious school. By son goes to a conservative religious school (through the shul, the synagogue, where we are members). My son has school tomorrow.

The Reform school where I teach understands how tired and exhausted we are. We have the day off. I am very grateful. While we all were required to submit lesson plans in advance for the first three weeks of school, often times we teachers are still putting the finishing touches on the plan on Saturday night. I do not have to worry about that, I have the day off.

I was talking to my sister this evening and she teaches at a religious school at the other end of the state. She does have school tomorrow. She told me she is so exhausted she plans on waking up early tomorrow to do the lesson. I would probably end up doing that as well if I were in her shoes, but again, I am glad I do not have to.

Also, my son attends Hebrew school on Sundays and Tuesdays. Some students attend Wednesday instead of Tuesday, but everyone goes on Sunday. Since the Jewish Holidays this year start on Wednesday night, the Wednesday session will not be meeting for the next few weeks, but the Tuesday session will.

At the reform shul where I teach, they are not even starting the weekday sessions until all the Holidays are over. This way Tuesday and Wednesday classes are on the same schedule, covering the same material each week. This makes a lot of sense to me.

Sometimes the Conservative and Orthodox circles can learn by watching and listening to the Reform, rather than just dismissing this as something lesser than what they are.

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