Rosh Hashanah is always an important time to reflect on the previous year. At the beginning of 5780, I don’t believe anyone could have imagined the events that would have occurred throughout the past year. As 5781 approaches, instead of getting excited about the new school year or planning our family Rosh Hashanah luncheon, my family is preparing for virtual services and figuring out how to manage my work schedule with my children’s online school schedule.
For everyone, this year has had its difficulties: illness and loss, misfortune and hardship and human suffering. As we approach 5781, I choose to believe that the Jewish year holds much promise for us. As we come together and pray over Zoom or in a park instead of our traditional settings, we can think about how to fill our lives with blessings instead of fear and hope instead of despair. We can begin by continuing to come to the aid of those in need. We can be supportive of those who are struggling because they have not been able to see their friends and loved ones. We can do our best to help support those families who have working parents and children at home. And we can continue to support the Jewish Federation’s efforts to give back to the community through initiatives like Mitzvah Meals, which works with the Grassroots foundation to help those in need of food. In addition, we continue to provide a wide array of social services to those in need through Federation’s social worker, chaplain, and hospice rabbi.
I know that 5780 took us in a direction that many never thought possible. After having had time to reflect, I think it is important to continue to focus on all the good that has come with the struggles: the ability to spend more quality time with the family and pause and realize what truly is needed and important in your life. The privilege many of us have to be able to stay home and be with the one’s we love. And most importantly, the strength of our Jewish Howard County community, supported by Federation. We have really come together to care for and help our friends, families, neighbors, and even those we do not know in the community to support each other through these difficult times.
Will the New Year’s blessings begin in 5781? I believe with the continued active engagement of our community alongside of the Jewish Federation of Howard County, there is no reason why good fortune and happiness will not flow into our lives and the lives of those we care about.