Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

January 2016 Message from President Howie Hirsch

A Second Chance

For many people in life, we get one chance to make changes a year. We make New Year’s resolutions to try and improve things that we feel we would like to do better. As Jews in the USA, we get two chances. One after Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, where we take a hard look at ourselves, see where we could have done better. Then, at the beginning of Yom Kippur, we recite Kol Nidre, which basically says that we know that we will fail in some of our promises to God, but if after sincere effort, we fail, we “pre-atone” for these sins. We Jews get a second chance at the secular New Year to make changes again and to try and redirect our lives in a way that befits us.

In speaking for myself only, here are three things that I would like to change in myself for the coming year:

1) I will make an attempt to reach out to everyone in the congregation personally and see how you are doing and what YOU need from the temple.

2) Make more of an effort to reach out to those on the Mishaberach list and see how you are doing when illness strikes and if there is anything I can do, or facilitate the temple doing things to ease your burden.

3) Make more Torah study classes. I am going to stop at three because I want to give myself a chance to be successful in these goals.

I have one wish for the congregation: that the secular New Year is a healthy one for you and your family. But if it turns out that you need to deal with an illness, please reach out to Rabbi Dubin or myself so that your second family, our congregation, can assist you and make your lives a bit easier. We are all in this together. I have seen this congregation come together when members were in need of help, and it has only made us stronger.

Happy New Year!
Howie Hirsch

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Last updated: January 3, 2016