the upcoming event
You’ve invited a number of friends over. Even if it is a pot-luck dinner, there’s much you need to do in advance of the meal. You, as I do, probably have lists with sublists encompassing all the projects that go into making your event a success: write out and send invitations, clean the apartment, make sure not everybody brings a green salad.
We have a lot to do to prepare. Ever since I shared (reference to) this song at a Selichot service over 30 years ago I think of it as we begin the season. It adds a bit of levity to the seriousness of the tasks ahead.
You likely even have “an app for that”. We each probably have at least one application on our computers or “smart” phones (hand-held computers that allow us to make phone calls) that keep track of the lists of tasks we each have. Google: task management software and about 34,700,000 (yes, that’s nearly 35 million) results appear in a third of a second. This must be a popular concern of people. And, it’s a growing concern. Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, we can see that since the early 1960s the concept of task management has become increasingly popular. Interestingly enough, the idea of a task manager (i.e. what may have been a person) gained some traction, but seems to have dropped off since 2004.
I’m sure we each have our favorite. We chose it by balancing a variety of values:
- simplicity of interface
- ability to use across all our devices
- ability to share tasks with others
- ability to split projects into smaller tasks
- ability to set alarms (based on time and/or location)
It’s those last two I want to examine for a moment.
In his book This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared Rabbi Alan Lew ז”ל split the project of the renewal we hope to achieve during the High Holidays into a number of sub-tasks beginning at Tisha b’Av and continuing on through the end of Sukkot. I have collected some of the tools that I have developed for myself and the congregations with which I’ve worked; tools that help me deal with the multiple tasks of this season. These are available and only a click away in the sidebar to the right.
During the month of Elul we blow the shofar every day. I like to blow it each morning as a secondary alarm clock. If you do not have a physical shofar, there are many shofar apps that you can download or use this YouTube video:
What are you doing to prepare?
I’ll begin wearing this lapel button to help me spread the alarm.
|Text||JUST JEW IT|
your lapel buttons
Many people have lapel buttons. They may be attached to a favorite hat or jacket you no longer wear, or poked into a cork-board on your wall. If you have any laying around that you do not feel emotionally attached to, please let me know. I preserve these for the Jewish people. At some point they will all go to an appropriate museum. You can see all the buttons shared to date.