The Jewish and cinematic musings of the Rabbi of The Reform Temple of Rockland in Upper Nyack, New York.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Elul Challenge - Day 5 Mac or PC
I don’t know where the Mac vs. PC commercials went, but I do miss them. They were quite cute and clever, though with Windows 7 out, they do seem to have disappeared. But it did get me thinking about how much we like to focus on dualities: Mac vs. PC, Red Sox or Yankees, Leno or O’Brien, Republicans or Democrats, Team Jacob or Team Edward, goodness or sin. We focus on these dualities as if life has only one of two possibilities. But within Jewish tradition when speaking about the Yetzeir tov (the good impulse) and the Yetzeir ra (the bad impulse), what we actually find is life is much more complex. For example the yetzier ra is really the impulse to satisfy personal needs, which if not controlled ends up being a runaway Id. But we do need it at times in order to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. In Judaism then, its not necessary so much about conflicts as much as it is about finding equilibrium and harmony. So really, in many ways, the month of Elul provides us with opportunities and time where we once again try to find balance in our lives. Lives that need the yetzeir ra, but not too much. I’m still on the fence about, when it is time, whether I will get a Mac or PC, but I can tell you for sure I am definitely on Team O’Brien. What are you doing to try to get back into balance during this penitential season?
Rabbi Sharff is the Senior Rabbi for The Reform Temple of Rockland in Upper Nyack, New York. He was raised in Houston, Texas where he discovered the acoustic and electric guitar while sitting in his dorm room one day. Rabbi Sharff graduated from the University of Texas and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
Rabbi Sharff is the rhythm guitarist for RTR's in House Band, and he also served as the editor for Howard Salmon's z"l Comic Book Siddur.