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The Big Read

    This year’s Big (or Slightly Smaller) Read is Ta Nahesi Coates’ Between the World and Me.
I first read this book in 2015 and at that time I found it eloquent, moving, important, and angry. It was, in fact, hard for me, as a white, Jewish, privileged person to listen to that amount of rage. I squirmed. Ultimately, I decided that I needed to simply listen to Coates’ experience without running away from it, without challenging its veracity, without defending myself. Just listen. In the five years that have passed since then, I have read more and much has happened in the world. Coates’ rage has stayed with me. There is more room in me to hear it.
     I invite you to join me in reading this important book this year. We have a few copies at the office for sale if you would like to call and arrange to pick one up.
     I hope that you too will open yourself to listening and hearing what he has to say. The book, by the way, is written as a letter to his teenage son, modeled after James Baldwin’s, “The Fire Next Time,” written in 1992. For extra credit, read both! Baldwin’s book clocks in at scant 128 pages!
     Instead of pre-Rosh Hashana book groups, book groups will meet on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashana in the morning (see Choose Your Own Adventure, next page). I will speak about the book and racism on Yom Kippur.
     I hope you will join me and B’nai Jacob as we read together!
    Rabbi Shapiro

Sat, September 19 2020 1 Tishrei 5781