Hope and Encouragement for Tough Times
Optimism and Faith
Compiled By Adam Dickter
Despite a history of tragedy, Judaism is a faith rich with optimism. Like life itself, the Jewish calendar cycles from solemnity to joy, from the soul-searching and fasting of Yom Kippur and the Ninth of Av to the festivity of Chanukah and Simchat Torah. We learn of Joseph emerging from the pit where he was thrown by his brothers to be a prince of Egypt. From the wreckage of his life, Job clung to his faith in God and redemption. Daniel emerged from the Lion’s den unscathed.
Our tradition is rich with thinkers who inspired us to see the rainbow beyond the clouds. In the ruins of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph comforted his students with his faith in the prophecy that the city would rise once again. In the 12th Century, Maimonides noted in his “Guide To The Perplexed” that “the world is ordered and beautiful, even if it seems ordered against us.”
As we face modern turmoil, an economic crisis spreading pain across the globe even as events in Iran and North Korea spread fear, rabbis and Jewish leaders offer their own words of hope, inspiration and encouragement, which are rooted in their faith.