By Rabbi Ephraim Silverman | Chabad of Cobb

First, a contemporary New Year’s wish: Almighty G-d, my prayer for 5777 is for a fat bank account and a thin body. Please don’t mix these up as You did last year. Amen.

There is no question that Judaism is action-centric.

Rabbi Ephraim Silverman, the head of Chabad of Cobb, makes a point during the ceremony.

Rabbi Ephraim Silverman

Philosophy, good intentions, feelings and identity are all wonderful and important. We should all feel very Jewish and be good people inside, but Judaism demands action.

I hear many people say that when it comes to Judaism and their relationship with G-d, what is important is what is in their hearts: Jewish feeling and identity. What is strange is that with almost every other aspect of life, they recognize that it is the action that counts in the end.

Imagine in a marriage, a man says, “I love in my heart, but I won’t express the love in my speech or behavior.” See how far that relationship goes.

Imagine you tell your boss, “In my heart I felt like coming to work” or “I had good intentions for getting the job done.” Let me know how long you keep the job.

There is an old Chinese proverb: Talk doesn’t cook rice.

Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg (author unknown).

In Judaism, action is the key. During these High Holidays, let us think about new Jewish actions we can take.

Wishing you a happy and sweet new year.


Rabbi Ephraim Silverman is the co-director of Chabad of Cobb.