In addition to Sabbath preparations, the Jewish New Year and holiday season is upon us. Sunday night is the first night of the Jewish New Year, so I will be busy and offline for a few days.
Blogging will be scant over the next few days, and then I'm taking some time off for the holidays, which will mean blogging will go down to pretty much zero.
Jewish New Year is unlike secular New Year, no wild parties festooned with alcohol. There's lots of family time, lots of prayer time, lots of prayers because of family time (!!!), thoughtful considerations of our relationship with G-d, asking for forgiveness. So it's a heavy time, but a good time.
I was reading the Torah portion of the week last and was amazed, as I am every time I read a Hebrew prayer, that I can read what my ancestors were reading thousands of years ago. It is an immediate tie to the past, keeps me fully grounded in my present and gives me a lot of strength to carry on and make a good, Jewish future.
And, as I read more stories all the time about the devastating antisemitism in Europe, the Jews once again fleeing Europe, being hunted elsewhere in the world, it makes me all the more confident in the Jewish people's ability to survive and to thrive and prosper.
While I was reading the Torah, I felt like screaming out loud: WE ARE HERE!!
We've outlasted all of you and we will continue to do so.
So, that's basically my New Year's message: HINENI. That was G-d's message to the Jews, and that's a good lesson.
Thus, we know:
"Even the greatest were reluctant to lead."
"Moses at the burning bush found reason after reason to show that he was not the man for the job. Isaiah and Jeremiah both felt inadequate. Summoned to lead, Jonah ran away. The challenge really is daunting. But when you feel as if you are being called to a task, if you know that the mission is necessary and important, then there is nothing you can do but say, Hineni, “Here I am.”
Things have been very challenging lately, but Hineni.
Wishing all the People of Israel Shabbat Shalom, and a Happy, Healthy New Year.
Shana Tova to all of Klal Yisrael.
May we all be inscribed for a good year.
May Hashem grant us health and courage, wisdom and strength always.