Considering the limited opportunities with which we were collectively presented in 5781, the hope is that 5782 will bring with it increased opportunities for gatherings, for celebrations, and for travel — to name just a few. While many of us found those opportunities curtailed, perhaps for some of us, 5782 will be the year when those delays finally become realities and we can regale our friends and family and social media feeds with pictures of our most joyous selves.
5782 will present us with additional opportunities as well, opportunities for perhaps significantly different intentionality than we had in 5780 and heavily influenced by our realities of 5781. With renewed understanding of how our individual behaviors impact others, especially those outside of our immediate circles, perhaps we will be more considerate of the health concerns of those with whom we come into contact and behave with more patience and understanding, even altering our own behaviors in consideration of their needs. With renewed understanding of the interconnectedness of our various communities, perhaps we will be more attuned to the needs of our neighbors, realizing that what impacts one in greater Atlanta so often impacts us all. Perhaps we witnessed an organization or individual responding to challenges faced by others and took inspiration in those actions; perhaps we will continue supporting those whose mission is the welfare of others.
One thing is for sure: as in years past, 5782 will present us with opportunities to truly shine. May we rise to the challenge, meet it with aplomb, and may our year be better for having done so. Shanah Tova u’Metukah – may it be a good and sweet year for us all.
Rabbi Bradley Levenberg is a rabbi at Temple Sinai, a co-chair of AJC’s Black/Jewish Coalition and Tzedek GA, and a board member of the ADL and Neranena.