I’ve always had a hard time picturing the future. I’m an optimistic at heart, never want to limit my options.
My great grandparents, great villagers on one side. Eastern European Jews leading the pilgrims on the other ever envisioned me, let alone my children, who are part Japanese, Polish, and Irish without know specifically what I hope for it to look like.
My guidance for the future comes from looking to the past. My grandparents and parents were dreamers, who were willing to take risks to find joy and love in the world with faith, family and empathy they moved forward to create a life for their descendants that they couldn’t have imagined until it happened. They had Faith deep down that god create a fundamentally good world for us. We’re taught that god left flaws for us to work to repair to give purpose and meaning to our lives; this is a source of Hope when thing aren’t going well, when the world looks bleak. They didn’t just roll over and accept their lot in life, They picked themselves up, and trusted that things could be better, that they had the ability to change it and they made it so.
Family offers support in the trying times and makes the struggle worthwhile. They had people they could count on, supported them without questioning; people who were there for them when it was inconvenient, when it required sacrifice. And, what good is overcoming challenges and achieving new better things, if you have no one to share them with?
They were empathetic. They were able to see the humanity in those very different from themselves. My parents found love across the Divide of tradition and religion. How else could my Papu, a Greek peasant by birth, have found himself celebrating B’nei Mitzvah of his grandchildren, in the pews of a synagogue with an extended family that now included people, who would have seemed very strange to him in his homeland?
He came to see that they shared the same values, even if they prayed in a different language, had different traditions, ate different food, so without knowing where it leads this is my hope for the future; that my children inherit these values and carry them forward that they understand that the world is a good place, and that that is their responsibility to fix what is broken and to fill it with love and joy. To look for goodness in all people and share that love and joy And, that they stick together to pick each other up and celebrate one another. I can’t fully imagine what the future will look like, but if they keep these values close at heart I know it will be amazing.
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