5780 has been a year filled with excitement, surprise, tragedy, and hope. As unpredictability has continued to shape our lives, we have found ways to come together and celebrate what makes our community so special. Many of us are ready to move forward. We want to change our calendars, call it 5781, and enjoy a fresh start in the new year. It seems simple, but we must understand that the changing of our calendars does not automatically shift our behaviors or outlooks.
This past year, in the wake of unjust murders and violence, Jewish communities and organizations around the world pledged to create actively anti-racist environments and fight for a more equal world. It would be comforting to assume that when we celebrate Rosh Hashana, we have completed a milestone: made it through a year of injustice and moved into a time of equality. In reality, our commitment to each other and to communities around the world must remain strong and continually be carried out. In 5780, our work started, and in 5781, it will continue.
"וּבְכֵן צַדִּיקִים יִרְאוּ וְיִשְׂמָֽחוּ וִישָׁרִים יַעֲלֹֽזוּ וַחֲסִידִים בְּרִנָּה יָגִֽילוּ וְעוֹלָֽתָה תִּקְפָּץ פִּֽיהָ. וְכָל הָרִשְׁעָה כֻּלָּהּ כְּעָשָׁן תִּכְלֶה כִּי תַעֲבִיר מֶמְשֶֽׁלֶת זָדוֹן מִן הָאָֽרֶץ"
“And so too the righteous will see and rejoice. The upright will celebrate and the pious will celebrate with delight. Evil will close its mouth. And all of the wickedness like smoke will vanish when evil’s rule will disappear from the world.”
While these words from the High Holiday Amidah prayer give us hope for the new year, they also demand effort on our part. Evil will not close its mouth and wickedness will not vanish if we do not first become the righteous. In other words, prejudice will not disappear from the world if we do not first turn our intentions into action.
So, as we step into 5781, we commit ourselves to putting in the work. We commit ourselves to making positive change. We commit ourselves to creating a more equal world.
Shana Tova, BBYO.
Daniel Pearlman & Kelly Fagel
BBYO’s 32nd International Sh’lichim
From the current Grand Aleph Shaliach and International Sh'licha.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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