Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

October 2016 Message from President Howie Hirsch

Happy New Year. L'Shana Tovah.

What wonderful words these are. As a Jew, I feel blessed to be able to have two New Years. This one is very different from the secular new year, but there are also similarities. In the secular new year, people celebrate, party with their friends and family while on the Rosh Hashanah, we also spend time with our families, but the revelry is not there. On the secular New Year, we go to others houses for meals and parties, or host them ourselves. On Rosh Hashanah I go to synagogue to be with members of my temple family. It is an enjoyable time that I cherish.

On the secular New Year, we make resolutions on things we want to try to improve in our lives over the next 12 months. On Rosh Hashanah, we remember the things that we could have done better and on Yom Kippur, we ask forgiveness from those we have offended, intentionally or unintentionally.

For those of you I will not see on Yom Kippur, I take this opportunity to ask for your forgiveness for anything that I might have done this year to offend you. In the same vein, I forgive all of you for anything you may have done intentionally or unintentionally to me. Giving forgiveness is a wonder thing thing to do, because when you harbor resentment over things, the person it normally hurts is yourself. Especially if the person who offended you doesn't even know that they offended you. You hold onto this as a badge of honor that you have been offended and then it can affect your health and well being.

For those of us who have a grudge against a fellow congregant or another person in your life, I suggest you do as the movie Frozen suggests "Let It Go."

I want to wish all of you a very healthy 5777 and I hope to see many of you at the High Holiday services.

Howie Hirsch

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Last updated: October 27, 2016