/ Yahrtzeit Candle
From the Desk of the Adirondacker
High Holy Days 2012/5773
The summer is almost over and we are beginning our preparations for services and activities to welcome the new year of 5773. This is the time of year when the adrenalin starts to flow and the excitement builds. The challenges and opportunities for Jewish renewal and enhancement are almost here. The Jewish holidays are either early or late, never on time. This is an opportunity to turn inward and prepare for the indoor season, when the synagogue will be a haven from the outside world and the weather.
The past year has been decidedly challenging. We human beings are making an incredible mess of this wonderful world. I hear many of you asking what will happen, will there be peace, will we be able to make things better? How can we individuals affect the macrocosm of the world?
We should not kid ourselves that this is an easy task. Our tradition teaches that we have to pursue tikkun olam - the repair of the world, or our small piece of it, and we are not free to decide to do nothing. The reality is that none of us has the magic or the power to improve the larger scene. However, we can certainly affect those around us and those with whom we come in contact. The rabbis taught us that whoever saves a single life is like one who saves the whole world. The only way to fix the world is one bit at a time.
At the High Holiday season we look back on the past year and examine our actions so that we can learn from the past and set a new course for ourselves in the new year. The accent of Rosh Hashannah is self-improvement and making this a better world for all.
This is the time to make that extra effort to be nice to someone we have difficulty with. This is the time to perform charitable acts. This is the time to make up differences and separations. For if we as individuals do not make the effort how can we expect others to approach us in reconciliation. We are taught that God waits for the sinner to repent right until the very end.
Hillel asked: If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, When?
Now is the time to repair a little part of the world, with repentance, prayer and acts of kindness! Go for it!!!
I hope that you have all had a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you at services, social occasions and study.
With best wishes for a happy, healthy, successful and sweet new year,
leshannah tovah tikateivu - may you be inscribed for a good year.
Alec H. Friedmann