Updated: Dec 31, 2020
HOPE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
Many people these days are depressed and have worries about what is going on in the world around us. People find themselves overwhelmed by a repressive sense of anxiety and hopelessness in our world. They ask, “How can I make a difference? Where can I find hope in an age of despair?” Elie Wiesel said: “I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.”
Despair may stop us and make us incapable of action. Hope is the belief and strength that we need to make a difference in our lives and the world around us. In the Aleinu prayer that we recite together, we say the words, “And so we hope in you, Lord our G-d, soon to see your splendor, sweeping idolatry away and perfecting the world…” Hope is therefore, something we create through our actions, small and large. This is what the Talmud, our oral tradition means when it suggests that one good deed or one transgression can tip the balance for us and for the world we live in. There is great hope in the suggestion that what we do really makes a difference. We must remember that real faith is expressed in what we do and how we choose to live. Our Synagogue ought to be in the business of creating hope. In a difficult and sometimes chaotic world, a successful house of worship, our Shul, our family is a little corner of the world where we strive together to bring comfort and hope to others. And in an insensible and indifferent world, our Shul can be a place that celebrates our uniqueness, and human dignity. How can we do this? We can do so through Gemilut Chassadim, through acts of loving kindness. In these dark uncertain times, I would like our congregation to dedicate itself to performing acts of loving kindness and caring for one another and for those around us. In a world filled with hate, disease and suffering Gemilut Chassadim is a declaration of hope. As a congregation we need to create such opportunities and to care for one another. Yes, our synagogue is a place for prayer, for learning, and social gathering, but it should be, first and foremost a place that gives people hope. In a world that sometimes appears hopeless, I believe that hope begins right here, right now, with you and me. Let us not only have hope; let us create and live by it, through our acts of loving kindness, through our concern for others, and through our faith. May this be a time of hopeful involvement for us all and for the world, Amen!
Rabbi David Schonblum
If anyone knows of someone who is ill or has passed or is in some other need please call or email me directly so that I can make contact with them. My number is 305-338-3029 and my email is DSchonblum@yahoo.com