5781: A Bite of Apple

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

A couple of weeks ago, Exxon Mobil got expelled from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is one measure of how the stock exchange is doing. It averages 30 large U.S. companies which track the stocks of many economic sectors. Exxon Mobil is the oldest member of the Dow, descended from Standard Oil which was John D. Rockefeller’s which merged with Mobil, another part of his empire. It means that neither lineage nor marriage for economic sake is sacred in the world of stocks.

Why did this happen? Apple split its stock. For every one share someone owns, they now own 4; each being worth one-fourth of its previous price or in apple language: one whole apple was quartered. Skin, seeds and all.

The lower price of Apple stocks make the segment of the tech industry smaller and in order to find a new proportional balance, huge companies including: Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, Raytheon are out and other software companies are in. They say it won’t affect their business though for Exxon Mobil, the glut of oil, consumer concern about global warming, and the drop in demand due to Covid-19 does.

What does this have to do with our final approach to the High Holy Days? Everything.

We can use the metaphor to consider how we value ourselves – is it in absolute terms based on how we are commanded by Torah and tradition or in relative terms based on how we are seen by others? Are we investing in wholesome and holy aspects of ourselves or spending time and resources on the opposite? Are we living in the past or the present? Are we investing in the future?

The High Holy Days are a time to ask important questions and strive to answer them mind, body and soul. The dividends are priceless.

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