Thinking about the New Year, Remembering 9/11, on this Shabbat

9/11, Shabbat and Rosh Hashana are all smooshed together in my mind.

I’m thinking about the New Year with new possibilities.  The apples and honey and my wife’s honey cake will all be devoured starting on Sunday night in the expectation of a sweet year.  But today, hours before the restfulness of Shabbat settles in, I’m haunted by my memories of 9/11.

Fourteen years ago, I was sitting in our Federation building with the other Federation staff doing our normal work.  Then, we heard a news blast that a plane had hit the Twin Towers in New York.  We turned on televisions to watch.  We weren’t sure what to make of it, but it became clear quickly.  I remember so many of our staff hurried out to grab their children from preschools and schools to hold and hug them.  My memories will be forever seared by that day.

“On Rosh Hashana it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed”.  Those words will be recited in synagogues throughout the world.  It is declared with the hope that we will all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.  The “Unetana Tokef” prayer continues as we ask the poignant question, “Who shall live and who shall die” in the coming year.

None of us truly knows what our fate might be.  One thing we can all do is to try to make this world a better place while we are here.

Thank you to all of our donors, volunteers and staff for working with the Federation to try to achieve our vision for a thriving, vibrant and engaged Jewish community – as we try to make this world a better place.  We wish you a Shana Tova u’metukah, a good and sweet year.

Shabbat Shalom.

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