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February 22, 2020 – 10:01 pm | 35 views

Terumah: Shalom Aleichem
Shalom Aleichem; peace unto you, is the classic Jewish greeting. It is beautiful, meaningful, and succinct. The classic response, however, is curious. Rather than responding with Shalom Aleichem, we reverse the greeting and say Aleichem SHalom, unto you peace.
Now, Jews like to be contrarian. Next time you are …

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Home » High Holidays

High Holiday Greetings 5774

Submitted by on September 8, 2013 – 2:59 amNo Comment | 3,438 views

High Holiday Greetings

We embark on a new year with excitement and trepidation. What does the new year hold for us, will it be good or bad, healthy or ill, happy or sad?

We look back to years past and know that life is a mixed bag, some years were better than others and no year was perfect. By the same token, no year was terrible. In the end, things balance out and life continues on, what is more or less, an even keel. Just the same, we prefer to collect our good times in the coming year and defer the bad times for another time and place.

Despite our wishes and heartfelt prayers we realize that we don’t get to choose. How the year will play out is in G-d’s hands. What is left to our control is how we will respond. Will we be thankful for our blessings even in distress? Will we remain humble even in success? Will we throw in our lot with G-d in good times and bad? These are the things we can control.

I am sure you are familiar with the popular prayer, “G-d give me the strength to change what I can, the courage to accept what I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference.” This is an appropriate meditation as a new year dawns. We must accept with courage whatever G-d throws our way. We must change with strength the way we respond and we must distinguish wisely what we can control and do our best to control it from what we cannot control and do our best to accept it.

This is a sobering thought for a sobering time, but this is not the extent of our thoughts at this time because there must be more. If that were all there was to it there would be no point in praying for a good year. If all were written in stone and nothing was subject to negotiation there would be no point in asking G-d for the things we want and need. Yet this is a robust part of our High Holiday and even daily prayers.

Because we do in fact believe that we have some influence with the way the year will go. If we pray with a full heart, G-d will indeed listen. If we repent with contrition, G-d might move to change our destiny. To a certain degree, it is up to us.

So as the year dawns let us resolve to do what we can to ensure that the coming year will be a good one. Let us pray not only for ourselves, but for our neighbors too. Let us also resolve to reconcile with G-d and repent for our errant ways. Let us begin the year on a good note and pray that G-d will respond in kind.

Let us ensure that our hearts are with G-d and let G-d ensure that His heart is with us. Let Him shower us with a year of blessing and goodness, happiness and joy. May this year be plentiful and bountiful. May it be a year of freedom and liberation for ourselves personally, for our community collectively and for our nation globally, with the coming of Moshaich speedily in our days, Amen.

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