Today is May 1, 2017 /

8100 Stevenson Rd., Baltimore, MD 21208 | Phone: 410-486-6400 |

Chizuk Amuno Congregation

A Letter to the New Year 5772

Dear New Jewish Year 5772,

Though some say you’ve arrived late, I say you’re right on time. We need you right now! We need your promise. We need your potential. We want you to be good – very good.

On your birthday, Rosh HaShanah, we contemplate the reality of the world in which we live. Celebrating your arrival, we hope to find a measure of understanding about our world. We also want perspective. Some new insight we can use while you are here; something that will improve our days before your days are lived and done.

New Year 5772, this is your hold over us. We really do want to greet in you a year of health and peace. We really do want our declaration to ring true.

Yehi ratzon sh’t-hadesh aleinu shanah tovah u’m-tukah! May it be God’s will to renew for us a year of goodness and sweetness! We want to taste more than a slice of apple dipped into honey. We crave the full flavor of life’s joys, challenges, and best moments.

It will not be easy for our dreams to come true, 5772. The year before you wasn’t so great, nor was the one before that. It seems our desires are not easily fulfilled. So, New Year, I’ve made some plans.

There are things I intend to do. People I hope to help. Places I’m scheduled to visit. Projects I want to complete. A difference I need to make. I know it will be a very rare day when what I plan and what happens are the same thing. That’s OK. I’m ready. Surprise me!

Who experiencing illness or infirmity last year saw it coming? Who touched by love last year anticipated the sweetness they feel or the caring they know? Everyday is a surprise. Everyday is a challenge. Everyday is complicated. Everyday is a gift.

Every new day is a chance to begin again, as is a new year. An opportunity to apologize for what is wrong and a time to anticipate what can be right. Every day is meaningful in its unique way.

This is what it means to be alive. Each precious day and every passing year comes to us only once, and then they are gone. I know this. A person who lives only in the past loses their life today. A person who lives only looking to the future also misses out on life today.

This is my awareness as you begin, 5772. My life’s meaning is not defined by what happens to me. My life’s meaning is defined by how I respond to what happens to me, by the choices I make, and the way I make them.

While you are here, 5772, all I can do, the most any of us can do, and the best we can do, is to live each day. I’m glad you’re here. I look forward to filling every one of your days with energy, resolve, compassion, and love. Be good New Year. Be very good.

L’Shanah Tovah!