Category Archives: wrestling with god

I’m not a rabbi, but I play one in my blog

Smashing the Glass

After reading my blog, some friends have been telling me, reassuring me, that I don’t have to feel guilty about doing Ride the Rockies. People play golf, run marathons and take vacations. I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a trip with my husband. Believe me, I don’t feel guilty. I swear. The fact, that my mom generously takes my boys without question, condition, fail or guilt makes it VERY easy for me to leave town!

And the kids aren’t complaining. Because unlike their mother, their grandmother is incapable of saying “No.” SO no worries on the guilt, ok?

I think it’s more about Jewish weddings. Let me explain.

I’m not religious. I’m not spiritual. I’m not observant except for holidays, and I have a plethora of issues with God. I do, however, have a solid ethnic/cultural Jewish identity, and raising money for LiveStrong really fits in nicely with the concept of Tzedakah or Tikun Olam.

Tzedakah literally means “justice.” It’s the word people use for charity but by combining charity with justice you get the true meaning of Tzedakah. If you empower someone by giving them a donation or helping hand, hopefully that charitable act will empower that person into rising up and helping themselves and others. A pay it forward kinda thing.

Tikkun Olam (I’m not a rabbi here folks, it’s like I said in post 2, I think waaaay too much) Tikun Olam literally means “heal the world.” So in our own little ways we should all try to do something nice or right because somewhere down the line, dare I say karma? We can hopefully repair what is broken.

So smashing the glass…

Even with something that is a incredibly positive experience, one should remember things that aren’t so joyous. When a Jewish couple gets married, the ceremony doesn’t end until the groom smashes a small glass wrapped in cloth after he kisses the bride. It’s a very well known tradition.

Jews smash the glass:

  1. to remember the destruction of the first Temple
  2. to remind us of those who are not here to celebrate
  3. to remind us that while we are joyous, not everywhere in the world is

It forces you for a brief moment, in all the elation of the moment, to keep some perspective.

So raising money for LiveStrong isn’t because I feel guilty. It’s to remind myself while I’m on vacation flying down a mountain at 45 mph, praying for an uneventful return to the bottom, I should also remind myself at some point, to keep perspective and remember that there are folks unable to climb mountains on their bikes. And raise awareness that they may have mountains to attack left in them.

That’s it.