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I’m disappointed by Rabbi Stern’s pessimism.

There’s no question that there is much to be dismayed about in the year that is drawing to a close, and I can’t dispute the prevailing mood of anxiety and concern. Which is why Rosh Hashanah is all the more important.

It promises a new beginning and, more than that, it promises real change–the possibility of heading down a new path. Midterm elections are coming up in a few months, and at this moment senators are debating a proposal that could reassert limits over presidential power. Germany just pledged a large contingent of U.N. peacekeeping troops for Lebanon, and the United States has named a special envoy to deal with Sudan.


It’s possible that all of this may come to naught, but that possibility is a certainty when we give in to despair and–worse–complacency. Rosh Hashanah isn’t about rosy-eyed optimism, and it certainly acknowledges the real difficulty in implementing lasting change–personally or internationally–but it does affirm that such change is possible. It’s a lesson we would do especially well to take to heart after a trying year.

A year of peace and blessing for us all.

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posted September 21, 2006 at 9:56 pm

Well said. May this weekend be one of instrospection, of growing spiritually and of peace as a prelude for the coming year. shalom aleichem and again, shana tova & chatima tova.

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posted September 22, 2006 at 2:26 pm

chatima tova I’m not familiar with this phrase. Please explain…?

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posted September 25, 2006 at 7:16 am

eastcoastlady–> chatima tova means good sealing, or good signing… refers to Gd s signature of your destiny this following yr in the book of life. You wish your loved ones a “good signature, a good writing, a good sealing” for this coming yr. Rabbi Waxman, tx for showing us a more hopefull approach to this yr. Shana Tova. Ktiva v chatima tova to Rabbi Waxman, Grossman and Stern, and to all the beliefnet community. May the wkend have been of introspection, letting go and moving forward, and may the fasts be easy on all of you.

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