Rabbi Yossi New’s 2021 Rosh Hashanah Message
Rosh HashanahCommunity

Rabbi Yossi New’s 2021 Rosh Hashanah Message

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

Rabbi Yossi New
Rabbi Yossi New

I would begin answering this question by stating that every situation and experience presents an opportunity. During the High Holy Days we refer to G-d as Avinu Malkeinu: our Father, our King. In the Torah, the primary function of both a parent and monarch is to be a teacher. So too, G-d, is our teacher. His lesson book is the Torah. In fact, the word Torah literally means teaching. Generally speaking, trying to figure out G-d and why bad things happen to good people is a frustrating exercise in futility. The better question to ask is what can I learn from this? Or how can I become a better and more caring person from this experience?

Certainly, the last year and a half has given us profound opportunities to examine and recalibrate our values and priorities. Somehow, difficulties and tragedies compel us to become introspective.

I often think that if I could play G-d, one thing I would change is to make pleasant experiences and happy occasions filled with life lessons and eliminate the “no pain no gain” mantra. So, if there is ever a vote for the position, I hope that I’ll win your support on this platform.

In the meantime, let’s look for the good lesson in everything and the good in everybody and thereby enjoy a Shana Tova — not just a happy new year, but a good new year. And as the Lubavitcher Rebbe, z”l, would often say, we should merit to revealed and evident goodness, without any tragedy and suffering. This will be the hallmark of the messianic era, may it be speedily in our days.

Rabbi Yossi New is the regional director of Chabad of Georgia and rabbi at Congregation Beth Tefillah in Sandy Springs.

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