In our previous article, we continued discussing our underlying question of “Why don’t people become great?” We explained why many never even begin the journey, either because of fear, lack of self-confidence, or a desire to be accepted by others. However, even among those who overcome these obstacles and begin their journey towards greatness, many never reach their destination for the following reasons:

Videocast Featuring Leading Gedolim Garners Provides Unprecedented
Pre-Rosh Hashana Inspiration

“The Chofetz Chaim changed the briyah - He transformed the entire world! The entire agenda of Klal Yisrael changed because of him and today, on his yahrtzeit, it is the time for us to make a decision – the decision to follow in his ways.”

I’d like to start off our new column with a simple question: Why is the world obsessed with greatness? Why do we idolize superheroes? The reason is actually quite simple. We’re drawn towards greatness because we know that we’re destined for greatness. We identify with the hero of the story because we know that we are capable, and destined, to become the hero of our own story.

During the Sukkos holiday, the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles erupts in joyful celebration. Our 40-plus kosher restaurants all have sukkos attached. There’s a sukkah on top of Ralph’s Supermarket. One could conceivably sukkah-hop to a different hut every five minutes and not exhaust the inventory. Google “Sukkah’s on Fire” to see my music video showcasing an assortment of local sukkos, accompanied by a wacky parody of the Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls” classic. The next video in the cue will likely be my brother Yom Tov’s enormous Jerusalem-based sukkah going up in flames. A well-placed security camera caught the tragic conflagration, and his kids mischievously added my song as a soundtrack.

My favorite comic strip of the season is Bart Simpson at the blackboard scrawling repeatedly, “I won’t count how many pages are left in the machzor (High Holiday prayer book).” Formal prayer is an acquired taste, and its acquisition is best achieved with frequency and familiarity. Hence the Jewish catch-22: Many Jews only show up to pray on the two days a year when the prayers are by far the most long-winded and daunting.