What will be your legacy?

Get your SKINNY on in less time than it takes to gain the water weight back that you lost on Yom Kippur.


(the pitch)

Moses continued his mansplaining, but this week he sang it. The Torah reading is called Ha’Azinu (ha-ah-zee-noo), which means: listen in and you should. The majority of the Torah reading consists of a 70-line song that Moses sang to our peeps on the last day of his life. (It’s a “To be Continued” from last week’s Torah reading. Read this SKINNY if you missed that episode.) The verses Moses belted out reminded our peeps that God brought us out of slavery in Egypt to freedom, chose us, made us a people, and bequeathed to us a bountiful land. The song’s refrain warned our peeps not to forget the covenant we made with God. (Read this SKINNY, if you’re singing in a forgetful key.) The song’s tune is unknown because iTunes hadn’t been invented yet, but the words are clear: Moses gave his own eulogy on the last day of his life.


(the over think)

Team SKINNY wonders what song each of us would sing – or what words we’d recite – if we too had the chance to give our own eulogies. We think it’s best not to wait for that moment! As Hamilton sang in Hamilton: “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” Consider sharing your legacy in an ethical will. An ethical will or legacy letter is a longstanding Jewish custom of passing on our values, blessings, life lessons, hopes, and dreams to our children. The best part is that ethical wills are typically shared with family members while the writer is still alive. Team SKINNY loves that! An ethical will is somewhat similar to the speeches that parents give at their children’s baby naming ceremonies or at their kids’ bat/bar mitzvahs, but you don’t have to limit an ethical will to those big events. You can write your ethical will to your children anytime. It can even live on your dashboard and you can update it at will. The teenage daughter of one member of Team SKINNY loves strolling by the baby clothes section at department stores. She imagines the cute outfits she hopes one day to dress her future daughter in. It’s her fashion ethical will to her future daughter. Take it a step further by incorporating ethical wills into your dinner conversation. Start dinner on Friday night (or any night) with everyone going around the table saying what values they hope to pass on to their children (whether real or imagined). We promise, it’ll be worth it.


(to be in-the-know)

Ethical wills originate in the Torah. Ethic-minded SKINNIES know that when Jacob was 147 years old, he gathered his 12 sons at his bedside and told them how he hoped they’d live after he died. (Read this SKINNY if you missed the ethics.) In recent years, the practice of writing ethical wills has been adopted by the general public. Team SKINNY loves it when Jewish things go mainstream! The American Bar Association even describes ethical wills as a great estate planning tool and health care professionals say writing one is awesome for our mental and spiritual health! If you need help or inspiration writing an ethical will, Team SKINNY likes the book “Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them: A Guide to Sharing Your Values from Generation to Generation” by Rabbi Jack Riemer and Dr. Nathaniel Stampfer.


(bookmark. reflect. share)

Yom Kippur (yome-key-poor) – the Day of Atonement – concluded last night and it’s a custom to parlay our spiritual cleanliness by immediately preparing for Sukkot (sue-coat). Sukkot starts this year at sunset on Sunday, October 16. We observe the holiday by building a temporary hut called a Sukkah (sue-kah), which symbolizes the miraculous cloud of protection that followed our peeps as they traversed the desert for 40 years. Team SKINNY thinks of the Sukkah as a metaphor because ya’ know we love metaphors! We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like the Israelites on a seemingly endless journey in a dangerous, symbolic desert with no end in sight. And, in that desert-storm, we’ve had the comforting tent-like support of a friend or loved one along the way. The Sukkah is a symbol for that comforting shelter. What’s your metaphoric shelter that keeps you safe in the symbolic wilderness?


(to chew on)

Confusion Alert: Sukkot is the holiday, Sukkah is the temporary-hut, the plural of Sukkah is Sukkot – and they all mean booths! So, on Sukkot we build Sukkot. Get it? Joyful SKINNIES know that Sukkot is a joy-filled holiday that’s also known as Z’man (zzz-mahn) Simchateinu (sim-chah-tey-noo), which means Time of our Rejoicing.

It’s a custom to decorate a Sukkah. Check out THE JEWISH SKINNY’s Instagram posts for inspiration. For more on Sukkot, read last year’s SKINNY.

This week’s Torah reading is the penultimate one. Next week, we’ll read the Torah’s final portion. SKINNIES who’ve been with us from the beginning will get crazy props! We'll finish the Torah! (whoop! whoop! whoop! We’re nae'ing-nae’ing!)



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