Ritual need

Ritual need

I write this on Yom Yerushalayim 5772 (Sunday, May 20). I davened at my modern Orthodox shul last night and this morning, wore white and blue, and feel completely unfulfilled. Yom Hashoah, Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim represent serious challenges and opportunities for our community. One challenge is how to make these commemorative days lasting and significant, especially for generations that did not witness our national horror followed by national miracles.

One of the keys to success, I believe, is the establishment of ritual for each of these days. Purim, Chanukah and, perhaps, even Tshah B’Av can provide clues as to what works in the long run. I challenge our rabbinic leadership to think seriously about how these special days can be established as meaningful and lasting.

I am aware that, historically speaking, it is too soon to judge the places these days have in our religious calendar. But we are living in the here and now, and we have a responsibility to do much better than we have so far.