Enough with the homilies. There is no high in this year’s high holy days.
My fellow rabbis are missing this year’s significance: Most people who will be walking into synagogue feel a sense of loss, confusion, and bewilderment at a world in total and utter disorder. This year was worst than last year and there is nothing that says next year is going to be any better.
A few weeks ago, Adam Cohen in The New York Times described in an op-ed how Americans are, now more than ever before, pessimistic about their future. Hope has been replaced by fear, and redemption has been lost to malaise.
The paralysis of the war on terror, the never-ending Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and round two in Lebanon have all contributed to American Jewry’s sense that hope is not on the way. Yes, yes, yes: Personally, Jews are for the most part doing pretty well. But communally, we are tired and scared about what next year will bring. For better or for worse, the question most Jews will be asking this week will be: How does one live in a world where nothing seems fair, just, or right?
I am sorry to be so down, but sometimes life isn’t just about the highs.