Rabbi Kramer shares High Holiday message


As we close the year of 5781 and prepare to enter the Jewish New Year of 5782, we wish you a Shanah Tova u’Metuka — a Truly Good and Sweet Year.

This year we were all challenged. Some have lost loved ones. Others have lost their good health. For others, the challenge was financial, loss of a job, loss of income, loss of savings. No one has navigated this year without being impacted by the collective trauma that Humankind has experienced.

As the layers of vulnerability were pulled back, we began to see more deeply into ourselves and the world around us. This stripping of concealment has helped us identify what is truly important to us. Health of course. Family. Financial stability. Our relationship with G-d.

We have come to realize that there is very little we are in control of. Plans of all kinds that were on the calendar were canceled in an instant. Each evening left us wondering what the morrow would bring.

We have come to appreciate that there is more to life than the running around, work, extracurricular activities. The world stopped, and we suddenly saw into ourselves like never before.

For some that was so frightening that they escaped the mirror and navigated to places of fear and worry and blame. In fact, on some level, we all did this.

But the gift of faith allowed us to dig deep and carry the message forward. In those most frightening and anxious ridden days, what is it that we most wanted? When we strip away the layers, what is it that we value?

As we approach a New Year, these are the thoughts and reflections percolating inside. As we approach a holiday filled with prayer, we ask, what is it that we want to ask G-d for? What is it that I need? Am I in touch with my purpose, in the gift of life that G-d has placed inside me and sustained throughout this year?

Are we in touch with our purpose?

We pray that we are. We pray that the lessons learned from this year are carried strongly inside of us. Let us navigate forward with strength and prayer for an end to the Pandemic and to the extraordinary challenges we have all faced.

And this we pray for you and for us.

May the New Year bring good health and healing to you and your loved ones and all those who need it. Physical health, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, financial health, nachas health, and all other things we desire in our lives should be in good health!

May the New Year bring a renewed sense of the gift of life and the purpose for which each of us have been placed on this journey on earth.

May the New Year bring an appreciation that as long as we have breath in us we are a significant part of G-d’s master plan. We are not superfluous. No Human is. No aspect of creation or existence is.

May the New Year bring a greater sense of awareness for the love that is inside of us; for our spouses, parents, and children. May we have a greater awareness of the preciousness of each day and the fantastic things we can accomplish in making this world a more G-dly and goodly one.

Let us pray together for the ultimate blessing. A world that has no more masks and no more concealments. A world where G-d’s presence is felt and experienced by all, as the verse states, “And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as water covers the sea”.

Rabbi Shimon Kramer,
Chabad Center for Jewish Life