Asking Important Questions This New Year
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At this same point each year many of us are known to express that the holidays are always early or late but never on time. Time is a very important concept to the Jewish people. We are a people that marks both the passing of time and distinctions between time. As we wrap up the end of one year and look ahead at beginning anew, I am struck by how this past year was one of such extremes. I mourn the loss of life from acts of hate and terror. And I celebrate the strength of community and the determination of people who insist upon working together despite their different backgrounds, perspectives, and traditions.
Personally, Elul (this Hebrew month) has always been a time for reflection and introspection. I look at myself as an individual and reflect on who I have been during the past year and who I would like to be in the year to come. Have I done enough for my family and community? Have I lived my values to their fullest?
I also ask the same questions that will be asked in synagogues and at dinner tables across our diverse community: what more can we do to care for the most vulnerable? Are we doing enough to educate our children and prepare the next generation of leaders? Have we done enough to help keep our Jewish community secure? And, perhaps the toughest question of them all, how can we continue to stand together and care for one another – as we have always done before – in these times of incessant noise and divisive rhetoric?
Through our words and our actions, all of us take part in answering these important questions. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these questions, as well as what other questions you are thinking about as we bring this year to a close.
One thing is certain, I enter the new year profoundly grateful for you – our donors, volunteers, leaders and partners. My optimism is because of the unwavering strength each of you provides our community.
לשנה טובה תכתבו ותחתמו
Shana Tova U-Metucka – May we all be written in the book of life for a sweet, healthy and Happy New Year!
Erika B. Rudin-Luria