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Home From the President President's Message - October 2020
President's Message - October 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  Although it seems trite, I will say that this year has flown by, and we are certainly kicking it into high gear for next few months.  Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchas Torah, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, oh, and that little event called Food Fest are all taking place over the next few months.  Throw in everything else that we inevitably deal with during this time of year, and we are all going to be overworked and highly stressed individuals.  My question is, what can we do about it?  I have two thoughts.  First, although the primary purpose of Yom Kippur is to pray for forgiveness of our sins, it is also a full day when nothing else is on our plates.  So while you are at Temple listening to the familiar prayers and the beautiful music, or when you are at home during the afternoon, take a few minutes for yourself.  Let the hectic pace of life wash away for a few minutes, and think about what is truly important.  Think about your family, your friends, and our community.  And remember that part of the reason why we are so busy is that we are trying to make our lives and the lives of our friends and family and community better. 

My second thought has to do with forgiveness. We are in the middle of the 10 days of repentance.  This is when we are supposed to ask each other for forgiveness.  It is something I have tended to do haphazardly over the years – sometimes more, sometimes less.  However, each time I have talked to someone about forgiveness, I have felt better, calmer and more centered.  It didn’t matter if there was a specific incident I was talking about, or if it was just a general conversation.  I felt better, and so did the person I was talking with.  I encourage each of you to give it a try.  Talk to someone (Jewish or not), and have a meaningful conversation about something you did or didn’t do.  Ask that person for forgiveness and I promise that you will both feel better.  

I leave you with a traditional Yom Kippur prayer:

To those I may have wronged, I ask forgiveness.
To those I may have helped, I wish I had done more.
To those I neglected to help, I ask for understanding.
To those who helped me, I thank you with all my heart.

G’mar Hatimah Tovah,
May you be sealed in the book of life.

Gregory Marks
President, Congregation Beth Israel



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