As we reflect on the year that is ending, we are obligated to be honest with ourselves, especially in diverse relationships and our often-fractured communities. Have we led with kindness? Have we responded with compassion? Have we expected the best from ourselves as well as from others? Have we been humble, gracious, and forgiving? Have we used these qualities generously or sparingly, with strangers as well as with friends? Have we disagreed without losing respect and love for the other person?
These qualities are more in need than ever, and each of us can be an instrument of healing. Every journey, every task, begins with a first step, however small and tentative. But every step matters; each is a small blessing. As our tradition teaches, one mitzvah leads to another. Each and every one of us whoever and whatever we are – can be a star in the heavenly firmament. L’shanah tovah!
Beth Schwartz is Rabbi Emerita of Temple Israel of Columbus, Ga.