New Year of new hope
The Jewish community is observing the most holy and reflective time on the Jewish calendar. This period encompasses the Jewish New Year, a moment when many Jews consider it an occasion to renew themselves for the year ahead with a commitment to betterment, holiness and other aspirations. It is also a time when many look back and analyze the past year.
The past year’s many conflicts and tumults were felt in the secular and Jewish community alike; the war in Ukraine, political strife in the U.S. (and in Israel), and rising societal rifts led us to feel collective anxious fear. We may sense the uncertainty and believe that chaos reigns and trouble looms, but this is wrong, it is both defeatist and turns our focus away from opportunities and possibilities.
Rather than focus on how close we are to danger, how irreversibly bad things seems to be, and how troubled they will become, let’s instead realize that together we have the ingenuity, resources, and tools to end our strife and troubles, and to lower the voices of the loud and angry. But it’s up to us. It’s unpopular to peddle in positivity, it doesn’t (usually) win elections, and it doesn’t help drive eyes to media. But it’s necessary and right. We all have opportunities to do much better both in our personal lives and as members of society and for Jews and non-Jews alike. Let’s take this moment to make the year ahead a better one.
Steven Schimmel, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Central Mass.
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Letters to the editor