Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
It is the last Shabbat of the year 5778 and I find it fitting that this week’s Torah portion is Nitzavim (Standing) in Deuteronomy. It is fascinating to me that this ancient text is so prescient to declare, “If your outcasts shall be at the ends of the heavens, from there will the L-rd your G-d gather you and bring you into the land which your fathers have possessed.” It is so powerful to me that, as we enter 5779, half of the world’s Jewish population now resides in Israel. Quite an accurate prediction made all those millennia ago.
As we exit the month of Elul, whose Aramaic verb means to search, we prepare ourselves for a time of repentance known as the Days of Awe. They begin with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur. As I sat at Shul last Friday with my wife and son, I was deeply affected when I was reminded of a song I sang as a child, Achashoalti b’vais Hashem, oyso avakesh. Shivti b’vet Hashem, Kol Yemai Chay’ai, meaning One thing I ask of Hashem, this only do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of my life.
However you enter these Days of Awe—whether or not you attend services; whether you are affiliated or unaffiliated; whether you consider yourself a spiritual Jew, an observant Jew, a cultural Jew, or however you identify yourself—please accept my wishes for you, your family’s and all those special to you, for good health, happiness, success and, most importantly love, in 5779.
As you “stand” before your maker, or your loved ones, or even in the mirror, I encourage you to take this opportunity that our tradition affords us so beautifully, to reflect on all that you have, all that you give and all that you might do to make the world a little better as we move into another New Year together.
Shana Tova U’mituka, a happy, healthy and sweet New Year to all of you, my dear friends. Thank you for your friendship and for allowing me to be part of your community and part of your lives.
Chief Executive Officer
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