With the clarion sound of the shofar, we are awakened anew to hear the call for justice, equality, and peace.
As we enter the new year, it is an especially auspicious time for teshuvah, repentance, a return to the path of righteousness. It is a time to make good our commitment to repair the world.
At this moment in our country’s history, the challenge to democracy is acute and the assault on voting rights is escalating.
Our sacred texts teach that anyone who sees harm and does not speak out is held responsible. This is our moment to speak out. Our vote is our voice.
Judaism teaches that we are all created in the image of God, b’tzelem Elohim. Thus, we believe that everyone should be given equal rights. Voter suppression tactics hurt our democracy and deny equal access to the ballot.
This has been a difficult year. COVID-19 has taken the lives of so many and threatened the health of people we love. While Zoom has enabled many of us to stay in touch, it doesn’t replace the longing to be together in person. I am thankful for the creative ways our synagogues, agencies, and organizations have maneuvered through these challenging months. The generosity of our donors has been inspiring and allowed us to serve one another in new and meaningful ways.
I will be praying for many things in the upcoming New Year 5782: health, happiness, security, an end to Jew-hating and violence, and a safe return to be together in person as a community. I will also be praying for our country to uphold its basic values of democracy and most especially the right for everyone to vote and have their vote counted.
Sherry Frank is president of NCJW Atlanta section.