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Home » High Holidays

High Holilday Greetings 5777

Submitted by on October 8, 2016 – 9:51 pmNo Comment | 1,161 views

New Year Greeting 5777

As I prepare for my sixteenth Rosh Hashanah in London, Ontario, my mind turns to an event that occurred shortly after we arrived.

Congregation Beth Tefilah organized an installation ceremony in my honor and Joel Wittstein of blessed memory was in attendance. I feel fortunate and honored to have known Joel for a few short years. He was truly a gentleman and a friend. As those of you who knew him will attest, Joel was never one to tout his own horn. He was a quiet man; still and deep. He paced the corridors of life sedately, resolutely and far too shortly.

At my installation ceremony I commented that he was the senior Rabbi of London. I had been told that he had been living in London at that point for sixteen years. Joel, offered his trademark smile and observed, “how quickly one becomes senior, how quickly sixteen years can pass.”

He was many years my senior when he made that remark, but today I find myself in his slot. Sixteen years of serving our Forest City. More than a decade and a half of challenge and growth, hardship and success, sadness and simcha… and that is life. I arrived, a child of twenty-eight. I am now a child of forty-four. I hope to continue as ever, yet a child.

Based on Joel’s words, I would like to share an observation about time. You know dear reader that the speed of time is relative; the older you are, the faster time passes. A summer used to feel like a lifetime; today it passes in the blink of an eye. A year used to feel like eternity; today it is like a passing wind.

This leads me to three observations as we begin yet another new year:

A, it is a good sign when time passes quickly. When time slows down something is usually wrong. When you are waiting for news about a loved one who is in surgery, time is agonizingly slow. When you take your family on holiday, time is agonizingly fast. So rather than complain about how quickly time passes, let’s be thankful for the luxury.

B, Time is fleeting; a swift marching cavalcade, each moment tumbling after the next. A moment passed can never be reclaimed. So let’s make the best of each moment by filling it with good deeds. A good deed turns a fleeting moment into an eternal moment.

C, Time is the one thing we can no longer take for granted. It doesn’t stretch out to infinity before us like it used to. There are a finite number of moments left in our future and when they run out, so do we. We just don’t know which moment will be our last, so let’s live each one as if it is.

This isn’t a morbid thought, it is uplifting. If you knew you had one moment left to live, how would you spend it? Well go out and spend your next moment just like that. And then spend the moment after that, the same way. And the next. And the next.

May G-d provide us with many, many good moments, may they be filled with many, many good deeds and may they pass quickly and smoothly; without tragedy or mishap.

Shana Tova

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