Because it’s the Hebrew month of Adar and Jewish tradition encourages us to not take ourselves too seriously and have a little fun I’ve been thinking of ways to spice up some of the weekly prayer services we have at The Davis Academy. Last week we did something so fun and so simple it actually warrants a bit of reflection: we had a raffle during Kabbalat Shabbat. To say that the raffle was well-received doesn’t even begin to capture what happened. From my view on the “bimah” there were hundreds of kids waiting with bated breath, completely enthralled with the idea that they might hear their name called.

Why do we human beings love raffles? Maybe it’s the simultaneous hope and fear of hearing our name called, of winning a prize that we didn’t earn, of being singled out among a crowd of people… Maybe a raffle raises one of those fundamental questions: is the universe random or is there a guiding force intervening in our lives?

All I know is that interweaving a raffle into our weekly all school Kabbalat Shabbat service seemed to put a smile on most peoples’ faces and introduce just enough novelty, excitement, and chance to take our celebration to the next level in honor of the month of Adar.

I’m going to think about how to bring more raffles into my life and into my rabbinate!

Everyone loves a raffle