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17: Ante Up

09/27/2019 03:00:00 PM

Sep27

Rabbi Elie Karfunkel

At many professions, there is a season. For retailing, it’s December. If you’re an accountant, it’s April. And for the Yankees, it’s October.  

The Forest Hill Jewish Centre is no different. After 20 years, I’m always looking forward to Rosh Hashana. 

And in the case of the FHJC, 90 per cent of the new members join in the weeks leading up to it.

The way it works here is different than most other shuls, Seven years ago, we made the decision to not sell high holiday tickets.

Yes, in our Centre, you (for the most part) either become a member or not.

Sometimes, I wonder if that’s crazy. We could get hundreds more people, thus impact more of them. We’d look fuller and receive more money. 

Why not do something that’s so obvious to everyone else? (In fact, while I’m typing this, I think I might be changing my mind.) 

When I was younger, I used to watch my dad play poker with his friends. Although I didn’t know the rules, I knew one thing: to get a hand dealt to you, you needed to ante up.

For the game to have significance, you needed to have investment, even if it was just a dollar.

That’s what I saw back then. And that’s what I feel in my gut is still the right thing to do.

As we approach Rosh Hashana, wherever we are, let’s remember this: if we want a seat at G-d’s table, we also have to ante up.

Sun, January 16 2022 14 Shevat 5782