When I was sixteen years old, a series of poor choices resulted in my getting arrested. The punishment designated by the court was 100 hours of community service, overseen by Reverend William T. Federici of First Congregational Church. Unphased and unrepentant, I showed up (late, of course) for my first day of service straight from the beach: barefoot, sand covered, and bathing suit clad. Rev. Federici said not a word about what brought me to his office, and set about drawing me a diagram detailing the direct connection between the mind and the heart. He explained something called “the heart of the perfection of wisdom,” and advised that I needed not just to open, but to empty the negative thoughts cluttering my mind. For a disaffected teenager, it was quite a concept.
You may remember that I am entertainment-phobic. Nonetheless, I feel I should celebrate the Jewish holidays with my children, as I am their only Jewish parent. Last Friday we had our floating Rosh Hashanah dinner, where we all gather to celebrate the Jewish New Year eat a lot of delicious food. My middle son lives