The High Holy Days Don't Work 

Years ago I read an essay by Rabbi Art Green about a poster he saw in a spiritual bookstore near his home.  In the window was sign that said, in big letters:  “Scientology Doesn't Work.”  Below that, in slightly smaller letters, the sign said:  “Integral Yoga Doesn't Work.”  Below that, in smaller letters:  “Christianity Doesn't Work.  Sufism Doesn't Work.”  And after indicating that a number of additional spiritual paths don't work, at the bottom of the poster were the words 'YOU work.'

Rabbi Green tied this message to the High Holy Days, and to the Kotzker Rebbe's teaching that the primary message of Judaism is ארבעטן אויף זיך arbetn oif zikh - "to work on oneself."

Since my arrival in Hoboken, we have used this motif on the cover of the brochure that describes our High Holy Day services and gives guidance to people about how to get the most out of the High Holy Day experience.  The brochure (and cover) have been beautifully redesigned by Susan Chait.  You can access it at or by clicking on the graphic above.  I hope it helps you to 'work on yourself' these High Holy Days, whether you do so at the United Synagogue of Hoboken or anywhere else!


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