The rabbis, cantor and members of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, Missouri, invite you to spend this Hebrew month of Elul preparing for the coming High Holy Days and the new year. We hope our daily reflections will provide you with food for thought to help you approach the new year and these times of personal and communal reflection with renewed meaning and purpose.
during the month of Elul, August 16 - September 13, 2015
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Friday, August 28, 2015
Elul 14 - Take the Greyhound - by Rabbi Jim Bennett
In the 1970s, Harry Chapin, one of my musical and
storytelling heroes, wrote and performed a mostly forgettable song “Take the
Greyhound.” In a forlorn voice Chapin tells of a journey across country on a
Greyhound bus.He intones:
“Take the Greyhound
It’s a dog of a way to get around
Take the Greyhound
It's a dog gone easy way to get you down.”
As we listen to the song, we can sense the melancholy of the
rider, who comes to realize that
“Looking to tomorrow is the way the loser hides
I should have realized by now that all my life’s a ride
It’s time to find some happy times and make myself some friends
I know there ain’t no rainbows waiting when this journey ends.”
Always philosophical, Chapin carries us with him on this journey,
and calls us to see all of our lives through the lens of the bus trip he
imagines.Our lives are rides through
the countryside of the years, and it is our task to make the most of it.
I think of this song during these dog days of summer, as we
approach the High Holidays.Elul is a
journey of this sort, and we, too, must realize that it is time to find some
happy times, make some friends, and make the most of our journey.
The song ends with perhaps the most philosophical message of
“Stepping off this dirty bus first time I understood It's got to be the going not the getting there that's good That's a thought for keeping if I could It's got to be the going not the getting there that's good.”
Indeed. It’s got to be the going not the getting there
that’s good.It is Elul.No time like the present.
Rabbi Jim Bennett
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