We are now at the end of the month of Elul, just before the great days of awe, judgment and forgiveness. Not only is it the conclusion of the year, but it is the conclusion of a year of Hakhel, a once in seven year gathering where in Biblical times the Jewish King would read the Torah to all men, women and children in the Holy Temple in Yerushalayim. It was a unique gathering that took place at the beginning of the year, but a show of unity that would set the tone for the whole year of Hakhel!
There continues to be much strife and division in our communities and throughout the US and world. The stresses and strains are wearing thin on many. Maybe it is time to shut off the internet, turn off the evening news and talk radio and focus on what really matters in life and the relationships important to us. It is hard to fathom a candidate for president getting elected in an overwhelming mandate or a US Supreme court Justice who gets confirmed almost unanimously. Ronald Reagan was elected and re-elected winning 45 and 49 states in 1980 and 1984, respectively while Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed in 1993 with 96 votes! In this post-Hakhel year, we must double and re-double our efforts for unity in our personal lives and communities. President Reagan said “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.”
From my family to yours, prayerful and traditional blessings for a good and sweet new year both materially and spiritually, Shana Tova U’Metukah!
Mitchell Kaye served and was elected six times to the Georgia House of Representatives and is a frequent traveler to Israel. He has three children and four grandchildren, and lives in east Cobb with his wife, Amy.