How to Evaluate your Traditions
Have the conversation with yourself and your “family”.
Here are your openers:
o What are we celebrating? How do we want to honor the holiday’s deeper meaning? (become Conscious of what we are celebrating?) Is it simply being together or something else as well?
o What do we do to create a connection with eachother? If we have a ritual – is it working? Is anyone psyched to change it or invent something else?
o Did everyone feel good after the holiday – more connection and clarity in our relationships? Sound and inspired in body and mind?
o What foods or rituals might more accurately meet our needs?
o Do we want to create a connection to something larger than each other? How might we do this?
o Is there anything else that intuitively seems like a more authentic way for us to celebrate?
Any one of these topics is adequate to get the conversation rolling. If you need context, I borrowed the following commentary from Rabbi Shapiro in Spirituality & Health Nov/Dec. 2010 and GQ Dec. 2010 by Mark Lotto.
from Marc Lotto:
“So when I got married, I worried that my wife and I would end up, between her family and mine, as overscheduled as candidates, repeating the same small talk as if it were a stump speech. We made a deal instead: Our brand new family would have brand new family traditions. The first thing we did was stake a claim on Thanksgiving.” Grab Christmas By the Balls, GQ, Dec. 2010
From the reb: “But the ritual has to be more than an empty gesture; it must confront the practitioner with the question, Why an I here and how should I live. A holy day is, or should be, a day devoted to asking this question in such a way as to generate awe and wonder, and in so doing, to call the questioner to be more compassionate, just and loving.”
Later in the article Rabbi Shapiro comments, “Unfortunately, we often mistake being with family, friends, and community as the point of our holy days and never get around to asking the question that holy days are meant to ask and answer. At this point, holy days devolve into holidays. True holy days should be days spend alone as well as with others, cultivating awe and wonder by contemplating the meaning of our existence. In this way, holy days are rehearsals for our final days.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro.
Have the conversation…. with yourself…. with others. The conversation will lead you to meaning and insight.