We celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning tonight. Rosh Hashanah, and the subsequent ten Days of Awe that follow it are a time for renewal, reflection, and new beginnings. This is a time to consider the possibilities for change, improvement, growth, and increased happiness that we can create for ourselves as human beings. What distinctly marks Rosh Hashanah is the sound of the Shofar (the Ram’s horn that is blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). According to the Talmud sages the sound of the shofar is a cry from us to God, shedding tears for our mistakes, lamenting things we failed to do and other painful experiences from the past year. In other words – the sound of the Shofar is our cry of regret and a seeking of support from the Master of the Universe. However, according to Maimonides, the sound of the shofar is actually a calling upon us to help God continue his creation, by bringing kindness and doing good in the world. God is calling for our help to spread goodness in the world. Goodness that is brought about daily through teachers who fight ignorance, lawyers who battle injustice, medical professionals who struggle to find cures and random acts of kindness we all do that are aimed at Tikun Olam – repairing the world. We are always being called, but especially on Rosh Hashanah, to set the intention that will make a difference not only to our own lives but to those around us.
Allow me to add my call to you, our incredible community, to further strengthen our school so that many more children will enjoy an SJCS education and in turn bring kindness, justice and goodness to the world. During this time, as you enjoy Rosh Hashanah dinners, Shabbat dinners and Break the Fast meals with your families and friends, we encourage you to invite others to join you and enlarge our circle. Let us think about the Jewish future we want to create and call ourselves and each other loudly and with intent.
Shanah Tovah VeMetukah
Wishing you a good and sweet year – a year with all of life’s blessings,