Rosh Hashanah 5773: Re-remembering what is possible.
Rabbi Elizabeth Richman, JUFJ's rabbi-in-residence, shares a reflection:
Most of us know Rosh Hashanah best as a festive start to the new year. We spend time with friends and family, look forward to favorite once-a-year foods, and spend time in prayer or reflection asking for blessings of life, health, and happiness in the coming year.
But Rosh Hashanah is also an important holiday from an activist perspective. The Rosh Hashanah liturgy frames a communal remembering of what a redeemed world should and will look like. In the Avinu Malkeinu prayer, we plead for healing and an end to all forms of oppression, violence, hunger, tyranny, and slavery. In the Amidah prayer, we ask for simcha l'artzecha v'sasson l'irecha, happiness for our land and joy for our city. We express our conviction that "evil will dissipate like smoke, and the culture of corruption will disappear from the world." The Rosh Hashanah liturgy also tells us that hayom harat ha'olam, today is the birth of the world - not as it is, but as it should be.
We who spend precious time and energy helping bring justice to our region need this time of Rosh Hashanah to step back from our work and remember why we do it. We need this time to hope and dream and re-remember what is possible. We need this structured opportunity to let go of our frustration and cynicism, at least for a moment, and step into Rosh Hashanah's unshakable confidence that true change is not only possible, but just around the corner.
L'shanah tovah! To a good and sweet new year where we allow ourselves to dream about and believe in what will happen when we stand together!