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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

09/14/2023 05:02:29 PM


Rabbi Josh Whinston

On Rosh Hashanah, we say, "shanah tovah." While we often translate that as "Happy New Year," that isn't what shanah tovah means. Shanah tovah means have a "good year." Goodness may imply happiness, but not always. Happiness is transient. It is here one moment and gone the next; it can leave us in an instant when challenging moments arise, but goodness has more staying power. Goodness can exist even when we aren't happy at all. Goodness has dimension and depth. There will likely be moments in the coming year that won't lead to happiness, that will make us cringe, that will leave us feeling unsettled or even frightened, but even in those moments, we might ground ourselves in the goodness we create, in the goodness of our communities, and the goodness of our congregation. May this be a good year for us all.

It hasn't made any of us happy that Cantor Regina has needed to fight cancer, but goodness can grow out of unhappy moments. Members have reached out, friends have been supportive, and our staff has risen to the occasion. Cantor Regina plans to be on our bimah for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but she won't be alone. Part of the goodness of our congregation is that we have a fantastic cantor and cantor emerita. In part, because of her goodness, we are honored that Cantor Annie will be sharing the bimah with Cantor Hayut, Rabbi Chelsea, and me. The ability of Cantor Regina and Cantor Annie to share the bimah this High Holy Day season is undoubtedly a part of the goodness of our extraordinary congregation.

L'shanah Tovah U’metukah! A Good And Sweet Year For Us All!

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784