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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

October 20, 2017  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

The happiest place on Earth

By Rabbi Levi Hodakov Chabad Center of Clearwater

Wow. What an awesome month. Having celebrated holidays that suit any personality, the Days of Awe (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) and the Days of Joy (Sukkot and Simchat Torah), I surely hope that the new year, 5778, is off to a great start for you and your family.

If you’ve ever spent time traveling for business or pleasure, you have most likely come across a copy of the Bible in your hotel room. I’m unaware of the statistics, but I do not believe I’ve ever come across a hotel room that did not have one. In fact, even when my family and I got away for a few days during a summer stay-cation a couple of years ago at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground in Orlando, I found one there too. In the middle of “The Happiest Place on Earth” there was a copy of the Bible.

My dear friends, we most recently celebrated the holiday of Simchat Torah. The way we celebrate this holiday is unique. We didn’t take the Torah out and begin testing everyone in Shul, or even studying or teaching. Rather, as one and equals, we all danced with the Torah; the young and the old, the college student and the grandparent. That is how we celebrated.

But immediately thereafter, the next day, on Shabbat, we read the Parsha, the Torah portion of Bereishis, chronicling how G-d created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh. The learning continues.

After a month filled with holidays, we now find ourselves forging ahead in a month without any holidays. Lest one feel that this is anti-climactic, I hereby present you with the antidote. However, it can only work if you use the original – accept no imitation. I’m talking about the Torah, specifically the 5 Books of Moses, AKA a “Chumash.” If you don’t own one, please check out your Shul’s Judaica shop or go online to get your very own copy. As part of a Jewish library, every Jewish home should have a Chumash, as well as a prayer book too.

Many have the custom to make a resolution for the new year. And for the Jewish new year, well, it’s got to be something Jewish. So, I’d like to suggest that this year you commit to a few minutes of daily Torah study. The study of Torah can help us tap into the spirit of the high holidays, and connect us with the Source.

If you do so, I can guarantee you that you will see amazing results in your life. Never mind the hotel, with a book of Torah in your own home, you won’t have to travel far, because your home will become the happiest place on earth.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. The views expressed in this guest column are those of the rabbi and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Press or the Board of Rabbis.


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