5/22/2007

How Quickly We Forget

I was sort of whining about the fact that we will most probably be having 2 milchig meals this Shavu’ot. My wife pointed out that I grew up with that, because my parents are also making both meals milchig this year. I pointed out that when I grew up in my parents’ home, we actually had 4 meals on Shavu’ot, and 1 or 2 were usually dairy.

Last week, I was at a staff meeting for the seminary that I’ll be working at next year. I was asked to give a shiur on the different perspectives on keeping 2 days Yom Tov for chutznikim in Israel. I said I couldn’t – that I felt too strongly about the topic. For me, second day is quintessential galus halakha ­– by definition. It’s straight up ‘minahg avoteinu be-yadeinu’ – just keep it the same. Live in fear that the next regime will want to abolish your religion. Don’t acknowledge the fact that we know full well exactly which day is Yom Tov and which day is not.

When I think about the second day of Yom Tov, all I think is, “Good bye and good riddance”. I would advocate any legitimate position that if someone comes to Israel, they should keep one day of Yom Tov. There’s no balance here- the Torah says to keep one day. I have very little sympathy for those still stuck keeping two days.

I will never forget the fact that I once kept 2 days, though it’s been over 11 years (including several that I was keeping one but not doing melacha while I was in the States). I’m glad that I had that experience, unlike most Israelis. But I’m also glad that I don’t have to be embarrassed when I read the Chumash.

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