RRA Executive Director Rabbi Richard Hirsh
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Executive Director Rabbi Richard Hirsh just published an op-ed piece in the Jewish Forward
in which he criticizes tendencies among those attending high holy day services to rate the experience. The article is titled, I’d Give It a 7… It Had a Good Beat, and You Can Daven to It
. Here is an excerpt:
What we frequently refer to as the High Holy Days are more accurately described by their Hebrew appellation: Yamim Noraim, the “Days of Awe.” Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are supposed to be significant because of the weighty confrontation with ultimate issues that they embody, especially issues of morality and mortality. Read Rabbi Hirsh's article in full
For many rabbis, however, another translation of Yamim Noraim is more accurate: these can be “awful days,” a mere three out of 365 by which reputations and even employment are often measured. For rabbis whose contracts are up for renewal, the prayer refrain “On Rosh Hashanah it is decreed, and on Yom Kippur it is decided… who will live and who will die” has a quite literal meaning.