Thanks to all who read my previous post. I found out today that Mom is in hospice and sinking fast, so I launched the letter (previous blog entry) to the Rabbi, slightly edited. Done and done, right? Not so fast. Here's the auto-reply:
Thank [sic] for your email.
I will not be reading my emails during the Jewish Holiday of Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah or the Sabbath following them.
I will look forward to reading and responding to my emails on Tuesday, October 21.
Please accept my best wishes for a sweet and happy new year and for joyous holidays.
Oh shit. Mom could die at any time, and he wouldn't know of my carefully thought out plans until the 16th. Who extended the Sabbath rules to all the holidays, including ones I've barely heard of? Rabbis, that's who, because interpreting all the rules and regs creates job security for rabbis.
I should have known -- there's a whole cluster of holidays in the fall, most of which are ignored, unless you get a congregation of yuppie and Millennial zealots determined not to be outdone by their Christian friends.
Still wondering: how many liberal Jews really do all this stuff, constantly re-enacting ancient stories (e.g., Torah says that wandering Israelites lived in "booths," so modern people do likewise, building their own. Kid you not.). Once again I realized how religion is an appalling time-suck.
The second of the two holidays celebrates finishing of the Torah...so they unroll it, roll it back up, and start over! How like religion to travel in an endless circle.
I will be sharing further developments.