Rosh ha-Shanah greeting 5778

Dear friends

, What a year we had… sadly most of my optimistic prognoses for the year proved to be unfounded. Right now, our world seems full of aggression and fear, our society is riven by widely conflicting views on terrorism, refugees, Brexit and politics.

And the latest powerful hurricane, Irma, yet again demonstrates to us the fragility of the structures we build around ourselves. We imagine the physical constructions and buildings have a permanence that will protect us, then just like straw huts, we now see that these “permanent” structures can also be blown away in the face of such natural disasters. Such events remind us of how lucky we are to have the safety and security of our homes, and to be able to enjoy their stability and warmth.

Last year our congregation saw the passing of some dearly loved members and friends, and their losses left deep holes in the hearts of their families and of our members. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families. These losses remind us how important it is for us not to take each other nor our lives, for granted. Rabbis in the Talmud asked “who is to be accounted as rich?”. Rabbi Meir answered: “it is those who are satisfied with their lot”. (Tractate Shabbat 25b).

How lucky we all are to approach the new year alive and in a good or goodish health (my eyesight has started reminding me about my age but I am ignoring it so far…). Life carries on and we should be conscious of making the most of each day we live. No one says that life is easy but in overcoming its trials and problems, as well as our own shortcomings, we grow as humans and as a community.

At Rosh ha-Shanah we will dip our crunchy apple into the sweet honey, and both then and during our preparations for the spiritual detox which follows, we will pray and hope for a good and sweet new year for us, our families and our community. Together we need to make sure that it will be a good year for us and that we work together to overcome all the challenges which might come our way.

Shanah Tovah u-Metukah - Have a good and a sweet New Year!

Look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Rabbi Tanya