There's a famous story in the Talmud about a smart aleck who asks the sages Hillel and Shammai to teach him all of Torah while he stands on one foot. Hillel's response is well known: "What is hateful to you, do not do unto others All the rest is commentary."
Last year's big holiday debate was whether the Jews had ruined Christmas. This year, with erev Chanukah coinciding with Christmas Day, people have begun asking how we can save it.
I'm reluctant to draw lessons from the hurricane, even if the High Holidays are a time of stock taking, and even if Jewish tradition suggests that calamities are "heavenly alarms" meant to arouse repentance.
"Did you book the Lakers cheerleaders?" asked Rabbi Steven Leder, referring to a notorious bar mitzvah party in Los Angeles, where he is rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple.