Tomorrow morning I will be hitting the road for the next five days (making the rounds and making our case for the capital campaign). While getting ready I have been listening to the BBC’s “Thought for the Day.” For Yom Kippur the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, had a wonderful piece. The text is here, and is quite brief. The central portion:
I’ve been fascinated by the recent spate of books casting doubt on religious faith, as if religion meant believing six impossible things before breakfast. Well, religion is a matter of holding certain beliefs, but that’s not the only or even the most important thing about it. Religion is also about ritual; and ritual is about taking certain beliefs and making them real in the way we behave.
Would my life be the same without the Jewish New Year? No. I might still believe that life has a purpose, that what matters is not how much we earn but the good we do. I might still be convinced that it’s important to apologise for the wrong I do and try to make amends. But those beliefs would have no fixed date in my diary and I might never get round to acting on them at all. Religion isn’t the only way of thinking about ultimate questions. There are others, philosophy for example, or science. But philosophy and science never created rituals. And when you lose ritual you lose much else besides.
Mmmmm, corn dogs…