Mitchell Kaye’s Rosh Hashanah Message for 2022
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Mitchell Kaye’s Rosh Hashanah Message for 2022

Mitchell Kaye shares his thoughts and inspiration for the Jewish New Year.

Mitchell Kaye served five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and is a frequent traveler to Israel.

Mitchell Kaye
Mitchell Kaye

Building on progress of the new Georgia Israel Legislative Caucus and my election as State Representative after a 19-year hiatus, this past August I led a bi-partisan group of Georgia legislators to Israel. Special thanks to Israeli Consulate officials Anat Sultan-Dadon, Alex Gandler and Karen Isenberg Jones along with Robbie Friedmann of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, and Governor Brian Kemp’s assistance in arranging special venues and meetings.

My wife and I were the only Jews in our 17-person delegation; only one other previously visited Israel (25-years ago).

Space here does not permit discussion of the business, political, government, security and cultural meetings and events attended, however messages for the holidays presented itself.

One Friday we visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. No matter how many times one visits, there is always something new to learn and absorb. Afterwards we visited Ramallah, capital of the Palestinian Authority and were briefed by Fatah’s official spokesman, a member of the PLO central committee.

The dichotomy of seeing the unspeakable atrocities committed against the Jews 80 years ago back-to-back with a passionate official who wants to push the Jews “from the river to the sea” was emotionally difficult. It was important to hear all narratives and fortunately, the many lies and distortions were obvious.

The message was crystalized by my Rabbi, Ephraim Silverman’s father, Rabbi Ian Silverman who we unexpectedly met while leaving the Kotel after Shabbat prayers. Palestinians portray themselves as victims, perpetually blaming others. Such mentality prevents building a better society, resulting in continued dependency on others.

Survivors of the Holocaust on the other hand, never wanted to kill Germans or seek revenge but rather re-build lives that were shattered. Thousands were married in DP camps, hoping to build a family and a better life. Many chose to educate about the unspeakable horrors; others could not bear to relive those painful memories.

We must never forget, and we must never ever let it happen again! However, our reason for living and being Jews is not about suffering and being victims but living Jewish lives with hope for a better tomorrow. The Israeli national anthem, HaTikvah or The Hope, is a 19th century poem and was reportedly sung by many entering the gas chambers in Auchwitz-Berkenau. Hope!

Our Iron Dome visit near Gaza included a briefing on technical aspects for protecting the populace. Iron Dome in Hebrew is “Kupat Barzel,” sharing a root with Kippah, that goes on mens’ heads. The message is obvious: the “dome” can protect us both physically and spiritually from those who seek our harm. An answer to anti-semitism is not to withdraw and hide being Jewish but to be proud and live it. Just as the Iron Dome protects us physically, learning, growing and striving to live more Jewishly protects us spiritually.

Warm wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Sweet New Year, L’Shana Tova U’Metukah!”

Mitchell Kaye has three children and three grandchildren, and lives in east Cobb with his wife Amy.

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