Ushering in 5782 With Gratitude

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Last year at this time, many of us were still not able to attend our synagogues for the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur davening. Photo Credit: TheKotel.org

As we, the Jewish people, gather together with loving family, friends and community members to usher in a brand new year in the Jewish calendar, we greet 5782 with a tremendous sense of appreciation to Hashem as well as a great deal of relief that we survived the sometimes horrifying vicissitudes that life has dealt us. We are also deeply grateful to the Master of the Universe for graciously granting each of us the greatest gift of all time and that is the ability to live and function yet another day.

At this juncture, we pause to reflect on a challenging but rewarding year. Last year at this time, many of us were still not able to attend our synagogues for the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur davening. This year, many of us are still masked, yet we are now able to join minyanim and participate in these holy services on an in-person basis. Last year at this time, many of us were still in the midst of grieving the tragic loss of family members, loved ones and friends who fell to the dreaded Covid pandemic. This year, many of us are fully vaccinated and less people that we know of are contracting this historic virus. Last year, our children could not attend in-person classes at school and this year they happily look forward to socializing with friends again.

Last year, we carried the staggering emotional weight of maintaining an isolated existence as we were unable to attend weddings, bar mitzvahs and other simchas. This year, we are dusting off our evening wear and partaking in the kind of life cycle activities that solidifies our communities and brings a palpable joy to our hearts and souls.

Over the last year, we have witnesses triumph and adversity on a collective level and for many of us on a personal level as well. Yes, we have had more than an ample opportunity to imbibe life sustaining lessons throughout the course of this virus that unmercifully gripped our lives in its ruthless manner. After witnessing such a litany of onerous tribulations, we must recall the words of a famous Jewish grandmother who once said, “We can never complain to Hashem. We must be vigilant about looking towards the good, of counting our blessings, of being truly thankful for everything we have and everything we don’t have.” She added, “Look, if you woke up today, and your are relatively healthy and you are able to get out of bed and breath and walk and talk and you are not lying in a hospital bed, then you just received the Divine equivalent of winning a hundred trillion dollar lottery.”

On the local, national and international scene, we have witnessed the nefarious agenda of the “woke, cancel culture” generation who is bent on pursuing a program of “intersectionality” as we watch the insidious growth of a totalitarian state that is being driven by a Marxist revolution right under our very noses. As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to gain momentum in the broad war to bring down our capitalist infrastructure, the people who stormed the US Capitol on January 6th are continually excoriated as dangerous zealots who threaten our democracy.

These folks may or may not be considered patriots in the true sense of the word, but the one thing that we do know is that they too care deeply about the future of free and fair elections in this country. Was the 2020 presidential election actually won by Donald Trump and in effect stolen from him as he consistently promulgates? One may never know the answer to that question, but what we do know is that the mainstream media, the Democratic party and the people who comprise the shadowy deep state all had their own reasons for removing Trump from the Oval Office.

Over the last year, we also saw voting laws and regulations being debated in ways that we never thought possible in the past.

The last year and a half will go down in the annals of history as the “Corona” era and as such we have been completely deluged with official obfuscation and confusion on the issues of mask mandates, compulsory vaccinations, social distancing and virus testing.

It would appear that some kind of vaccine mandate might be put in place and if so, that would mean that those who adamantly oppose being vaccinated against Covid will have absolutely no choice. With vaccine passports now being demanded as entry verification to public places, it would appear that our freedom of choice is being torn from our midst.

And what of the genesis of this Covid virus? Did the United States really fund the research that was taking place in the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Did the Chinese intentionally unleash this plague on the world? These are the questions that took up the lion’s share of our conversations over the last year on Zoom and in the belly of social media outlets.

Climactically, we have witnessed unprecedented wildfires in California, as well as hurricanes and earthquakes. After each event, we have become accustomed to powers that be foisting upon us the “Climate Change” pitch as they attempt to convince us that we only have a matter of a few years before our planet will become uninhabitable. We are called upon to rid ourselves of the perennial carbon footprint as we watch our “politically correct” celebrities jet around the world in their private planes.

And let’s not forget that this is the year of the British Royal family as we watch all of their dirty laundry being aired by the wayward Prince Harry and his very woke American wife. They, of course, do their virtue signaling and pontification behind the walls of of $15 million mansion in Montecito, California.

Yes, folks, it has been a year for the records books!!