Jan Jaben-Eilon’s 2021 Rosh Hashanah Message
Rosh HashanahCommunity

Jan Jaben-Eilon’s 2021 Rosh Hashanah Message

Read community insights, perspectives and opportunities seen as we enter into the 5782/ 2021 New Year.

Jan Jaben-Eilon
Jan Jaben-Eilon

Life is Full of Challenges

If nothing else, this past year and a half has reminded us of how precarious and unpredictable life is.

It should also have been a reminder that we may think we have control over our lives, but ultimately, we don’t. We have control over how we take care of ourselves, of how we treat others and how we treat our Earth.

But, as has become way too clear with our climate calamities, we indeed could die by fire, by flood, by thirst, by famine, by sword or by beast (virus).

Over the years, many of us have faced severe illness or death either individually or through family or friends. These are separate challenges, but both, I believe, teach us resilience. Challenges are just part of life. The earlier we learn how to overcome or deal with challenges, I believe, the more resilient we become.

We can remind ourselves that yes, that cancer diagnosis or that death of a loved one was wrenching. And, at the time, we didn’t know how we could survive the pain. We cried, we wailed, we buried our heads in our pillows. Then we took a breath or two, or three. And we kept on living.

As children we may have thought that life gets easier as we age. I wonder how that mistaken idea ever lodged in our brains. It doesn’t. The challenges are different and more difficult, but if we have learned how to get back on our feet after being struck down, repeatedly, by the slings and arrows of life, we are stronger and tougher.

Having supportive family and friends helps, but, in the end, we all die alone.

Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist and cancer survivor.

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