Act(ing) #blogelul #PopCultureElul

Today’s prompt is act and I decided that I could interpret it to acting.

Are you watching Orange is the New Black? Really, you should be (and only when young people are not around, I would give this show an ‘R’ rating). I am only a few episodes into the series and already I think it is fabulous. I’ve been at social gatherings and a very common conversation starter is, “Have you seen Orange is the New Black?” (In case you couldn’t tell, I live in Los Angeles. The place where people still go to movies and watch television because everyone is or knows someone who works in ‘the industry’). I confess that I did read the book by the same name and so far the two have very little in common (this is not a book review blog post but I can save you the trouble of reading the book).

I think the acting in this show is pretty outstanding. I very much appreciate that there is a transgender actor in the show and for this reason alone I believe the show should receive praise.

It might also be possible to create a stronger connection between my recommendation for television (is it still called television if it is an entire season of a show available on Netflix?) and the spiritual work of Elul. Each Jew is to be engaged in a process of Cheshbon Nefesh, an accounting of the soul. Some people focus on this exclusively during the 10 Days of Awe, the days between Rosh Hashanah* and Yom Kippur, however it is really to begin in the month of Elul. Every day we sound the shofar to stir our souls. It seems to me that some of the themes of atonement, repentance, and re-establishing relationships exist in Orange is the New Black just as we are trying to make them present in our lives at this time.

There you have it, readers. A television suggestion, a #blogelul AND a #PopCultureElul post!

*speaking of New Year, have you figured out where you are going for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services yet? If you need some assistance finding the right place, feel free to leave a comment.

Traditionally, the shofar is sounded daily during Elul. Not only does this custom remind us that it will be blown on Rosh HaShanah, but it also serves as a wakeup call of sorts, reminding us of the High Holidays and urging us to begin our preparations. Elul is a month of spiritual preparation for the season of return, renewal, and repentance that the High Holidays offer us each year. Just as we sweep the chametz (leaven) from our cabinets, cars, and couch cushions in the weeks before Passover, so, too, do we perform spiritual housecleaning during Elul. It’s a time to clean out our spiritual closets, get our moral and ethical house in order, and prepare our deepest, inner selves for the reflection and introspection we’ll be doing on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur—and during the 10 days in between. (From the Reform Judaism Blog)

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About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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One Response to Act(ing) #blogelul #PopCultureElul

  1. anitasilvert says:

    Act. As in, a second act, after the first act, before the third act. Yes, I have a theater mentality, too. I think to a certain extent I’m in my second act. My kids are almost all out of the house, my marriage seems to be headed towards its third decade, I have clothes that are almost that old….but that still fit. I’m not done yet, by a long shot. The second act is where the plot twists are. We’ve met the characters, we know who they are and what their motivation is. Now, in the second act, wrenches get thrown into their midst, and it’s time to see how things “play” out.

    There have been plenty of plot twists lately and it’s really hard to tell if I’m in a comedy or drama. Probably a dramedy. Not everyone in the show knows their lines, so I’m improvising a lot. If Elul is the time of the year to reassess and prepare, it’s right on cue. By the time Rosh Hashanah rolls around, the great “review” will have been posted and I will find out if my show gets renewed. I hope so. There’s bound to be a third act, and I want to be ready.

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