This weekend I celebrated Rosh Hashanah. It was a meaningful celebration, but different than prior years. My kids were out of town, our annual open house for our Beth Emet "family” was cancelled due to Covid, we ate brisket outside (always delicious) and we watched the holiday worship service online.
Rosh Hashanah (literally, “Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, a time of prayer and self-reflection. We review our actions during the past year, and look for ways to improve ourselves, our communities, and our world in the year to come.
One of the traditions of Rosh Hashanah services is the blowing of the shofar, a musical instrument typically made of a ram's horn, dating back to ancient times. The sound symbolizes a wakeup call or call to action.
Although our services were online, I was fortunate to attend a socially distanced shofar blowing at a good friend's home. Emily is trained as a shofar blower and always amazes us with their ability. The picture above is of Emily and mom, Karen. Notice the mask at the end of the Shofar.
I have known Emily since birth. Emily has grown to be such a wonderful and compassionate person, a young adult who works tirelessly to help those in need. Emily currently has a fellowship at the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led group that advocates political action on climate change.
As always I expected a wonderful shofar blowing, but this year was an added bonus. Emily offered some very wise words before the shofar blowing, reflecting on how even though 2020 (Jewish Year 5780) has been a tough year for us all, we can’t blame 2020 for everything. There were things in our life that needed mending before the pandemic.
The sounding of the Shofar reminds us we can take action now. To focus on what we can control.
Through the year, I have written many blogs to encourage you to take action:
Each of us has the power to make changes in our lives and the lives of others. In the words of Emily:
Let’s not just hope that 5781 will be a better year. Let’s do the work to make it a better year.
Thank you, Emily. You have inspired me and many others. Keep up the energy and good work!
I hope each of you will take action in the coming year, and my best wishes that it is a happy and healthy one.
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