Jewish ghosts get no respect. Not like the Ghosts of Christmas past present and future – they do great business this time of year. We maybe catch a movie and eat Chinese.
Though for us this week is little more than a break from work or school, it’s nice to slow down and reflect – especially if you’re one of the many who doesn’t really observe Shabbat. So I took a moment and looked up some fellow ghosts, and given they had little else to do, they were glad to forward some messages:

The Ghost of BBYO Past was, I’m afraid, rather depressed – a mere shadow of himself. “There used to be a lot more chapters,” he explained. “But then again, quantity isn’t everything. They used to say that BBYO was the very best and the very worst of the youth groups. When good, no organization was better and creating Jewish leaders. But I have to admit, sometimes chapters went bad – and at those times they were little better than a gang.”
The Ghost of BBYO Present was looking pretty good. “I had a real sick spell a few years back,” he said. “But things are getting better now. The organization has more resources and is taking steps to improve its reputation and numbers. But there’s a long way to go and it’s going to take everyone’s involvement to make it happen. That’s going to require development of extraordinary leadership at all levels.”
The Ghost of BBYO future was harder to find. Naturally he was dressed in the traditional black, face hidden in a reaper’s cloak. Unlike the Ghost of Christmas Future however, and as befitting a Jewish ghost, he talked. Oy did he talk.
I couldn’t understand him at all. One minute he described a future with tens of thousands of chapter members, the next a future with large numbers of teens engaged and no chapters at all. Then there were futures with no BBYO, and others where BBYO was the largest Jewish youth group in the world. He chattered and yammered and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
Finally I grabbed the sickle out of his hand and yelled at him to stop. “This makes no sense!” I said.
He froze. And for a long minute stared at me and said nothing. Then he smiled. “When it starts making sense is when the future will be determined. So you’d better think carefully, communicate well, and stick to your values – cause those are the things that will control the future you get – it’s entirely up to you.”
And with that he faded away.
And fade away is what I too will do for now, after all – it is the season to take a break, catch a movie, and eat Chinese. See you next year.