A Good Word from Rabbi Reuven Silverman


Rosh Hashanah 5777 – Rabbi Reuven Silverman

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Mahatma Gandhi  

With all the terrorism and senseless killing that we have seen over the past year, it is easy for anyone to wonder what the world is coming to. It seems like every week there is another act of terror or pure insanity that appears to us out of nowhere. And G-d Bless us, when we listen to the Political Leaders of the world, we are not offered much in the way of solace.

One of our young congregants, Ben Herstein, lifted our hearts in the Synagogue the other night. He gave us many stories of his recent trip to Israel with other students. One of his stories focused on the north border of Israel and Syria . An Israeli farmer would put a box of citrus across the fence each day for the Syrian Soldiers who appreciated the fruit very much and thanked him. When the Israeli government came by and told him that he couldn’t do that because, they were the enemy; he ended up throwing the fruits across the fence each day – like a baseball. And the soldiers caught them and understood! And were thankful!

As we enter Rosh Hashanah, our job is to first, ask for forgiveness of the people we have wronged and then turn our thoughts to our own actions and to G-d. When we hear the Shofar Blow, it is time to get serious and shaken about returning to ourselves and the soul that G-d has given us. When we think that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur represent a time when the year in front of us is at stake, it is definitely a time to get humble and realize our repentance and our future commitments need to be taken seriously.

Our Rabbis have realized that the depth and seriousness of one contemplating the scope of what can happen during the coming year ---“Who will live? Who will die?” – That they have declared it is mandatory for each of us individually and all of us communally to think positive about the year to come and that all will be well. The Rebbe Lubavitch said, “ Think good and it will be good!” And, Gandhi said, “ You must not lose faith in humanity .”

On my tenth anniversary of leading services at Temple Israel of Deland, Renee and I wish everyone a Gezunt New Year with sweetness and honey and raisins. L’Shana Tova Umtuka to all!

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