Leah’s Blog The Golden Calf February 26, 2016
Growing up Jewish in the 1970’s meant a lot of different things depending on your own personal experience. For me, leaving Yeshiva and going to a public high school in the 10th grade laid at my door a new kind of Jewish kid, hundreds of them for that matter. They were assimilated, or at best they were the “kosher style” kind. For many, their last bond with Judaism happened a few years before at their Bar Mitzvah ceremony. They all had, curiously, a one and the same confession. They remember wearing tuxedos and having cufflinks with their initials and their parents excitedly fluttering around the hall they had hired with the photographer, caterer, entertainers, band, party planner, balloon lady and flower arrangements. The presents were piled up high- especially the envelopes of money. They all forgot what parsha they had to read and barely remembered how they even read those Hebrew words without the vowels! Or what they meant! It was almost as hard as going to Yizkor on Yom Kippur and attempting to fast.
The laws customs and traditions that all the generations before them held on to by hook or by crook started melting in that fleshpot, quickly dissolving but a new form was emerging out of it.
We were growing up in the Land of Opportunity and the 70’s gave birth to the 80’s. There wasn’t one kid who didn’t know what wholesaling, retailing, deal making, trading and rolling dough was -like their grandparents knew how to haggle and bargain. The parents talked securities and interests. Return yields. It was the Land of good and plenty.
And it became a religion.
I would pivot out of that scene some years later. I hungered for something more, something else. The face value of it exploded when in a Temple sermon one day the Rabbi was passionately speaking about the prohibition of pressing for the end (of the final redemption)” “לדחוק את הקץin that palatial synagogue of his. The Torah was being carried around in its ornate coat and the tassels glittered, the windows of mosaic colored stained glass glimmered in the sun and peoples outfits blinded in their beauty. Something was wrong. “Is it hot in here or am I crazy?” I wondered. Taking the bull by the horns I moved on to an unsown Land.
Two years after our Aliyah (in 1987) a huge sculptured bull was put out on display on Wall Street. It was meant to signify that the demand exceeds supply. People were just wanting more and more and demand was exceeding supply, no-one really being satiated. That’s part of the bull and bear motion on stocks. It’s a whole new language, a whole new kind of Hebrew but one that you understood. Have you ever seen the inside of a brokerage house or what happens when a stock goes up or down BIG TIME?
Where were you when the World Commerce buildings came crashing down exactly a year after the Tomb of Yosef was destroyed? What did you learn from it?
We are now at the end and it is forbidden to distance the end”להרחיק את הקץ” . I plead with 80% of the Rabbis that have remained there behind the walls of their synagogues. Go Out! Lead reality! Rectify the world by if not bashing your golden Calves, at least share with Israel. Israel needs you now. It is late and it is likened to a person holding the manna for too long. It begins to reek. There is a way to remedy the need for gold and something we demand and need now even if it’s not here right now. The Torah teaches us to give some of it. Give half a shekel if you can.
Shabbat Shalom, Leah