As President of our beloved Congregation, I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year! Now I know many of you have a difficult time getting your kids to come to temple or you sneak out early when you’ve “had enough,” so this year we’re going to shake things up.
I’m very excited to announce Yom Kippur services will include a live reenactment of the iconic story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Rabbi Solomon will randomly select a male child under bar mitzvah age, Hunger Games-style, to come to the bimah with his father and tell him he has to die for our sins. The Rabbi will bind the kid with ropes just like in the Old Testament, and thrust a huge knife into the father’s hand, egging him on to kill his son. The father will probably resist, but Rabbi Solomon will stay in character as God, really pushing the point. Then, just when it gets uncomfortable and both kid and dad are crying, the Rabbi will congratulate the dad for passing the same exact loyalty test Abraham passed with God 4,000 years ago. That’ll be the cue for live chickens to be brought into the sanctuary.
Now, the chickens will naturally be pretty riled up, so we might not need the Shofar. Then the Rabbi will begin the confession of sins as he swings the chickens over his head. He’ll keep swinging and praying and just when your ears can’t take the chickens screaming a second longer, he’ll slaughter the birds right there on the bimah as a symbolic gesture of ridding our souls of evil. It’s going to be awesome! If this doesn’t get our teens to Yom Kippur services, nothing will. Am I right? Darren Aronofsky wishes he were a member of our temple! By the way, if you plan on sitting in front, dress as if you’re attending a Gallagher concert.
To accommodate the reenactment, the Yom Kippur morning service should run around nine hours, but it’s totally worth it for the best Yom Kippur ever! You may be thinking that’s way too long, but did our ancestors leave the mud pits early when they were slaves in Ancient Egypt? The Day of Atonement calls for great sacrifice and there’s no greater sacrifice than sitting in temple for nine hours without food or water, listening to a language you don’t understand. Personally, I do everything I can to be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year. But to those who choose to act differently, good luck at your next cancer screening.
We have so many people to thank for putting together this new format. Lydia Goldman has been housing the birds in her gorgeous Williams-Sonoma chicken coop, which is bigger than my first apartment — those chickens never had it so good. There was some talk of whether we should deprive the chickens of food and water on Yom Kippur, but Rabbi Solomon decided the chickens didn’t need to fast on their last day alive (we’re Jews, not monsters). Our own temple trustee, Dr. Michael Finkelstein, will be giving the birds a spinal block so they won’t feel a thing, and family therapist Dr. Mark Kessler will be on standby to explain the concept of experimental theater to our younger members. Thank you, everyone!
I can’t wait to see you all at services, especially the folks who only come to temple once a year. What’s the deal, guys? Do you forget you’re Jewish the other 11 months? Haha. I’m kidding. You know, our ancestors didn’t haul pyramid bricks just once a year. But for real, do you think coming to temple only on Yom Kippur sends the right message? Next Saturday, when you’re golfing, I’d keep an eye out for rogue lightning strikes.