2016-09-28 / Editorial

As 5777 arrives, the Jewish people has every reason to be optimistic

There is an old joke that has one Jew sending a telegram to another along the lines of, “Start worrying. Details to follow.”

The joke plays on the view that Jews tend toward the pessimistic, believing that the next problem or catastrophe is right around the corner. While there is no doubt that Jewish history has had more than its share of disaster, it is untrue that Jews are pessimists. To the contrary, we are perhaps the most optimistic of peoples.

The Jewish people has survived under the most difficult of circumstances. We have raised new generations with the belief that we would return to our homeland, rebuild our nation, and continue to celebrate simchas, joyous occasions. We have never given up hope. Indeed, Israel’s national anthem is exactly that, “Hatikvah,” the hope.

There are many problems facing the Jewish people today. There is anti-Semitism around the world. Israel faces many detractors and enemies. There are Jews living in poverty. There are a host of issues to confront.

None of these, however, is new. We have met these challenges before, and together we have dealt with them. The empires and tyrannies that sought to destroy us are now dust, while the Jewish people continues to thrive.

It is with this spirit that we should greet each other as the new Jewish year of 5777 dawns. With God’s help and our fortitude, we can do our best to turn this year into a truly sweet year.

The old joke might want us to start worrying, and the details will follow, but a more accurate assessment of the Jewish condition should ask us to “Stop worrying. Miracles to follow.”

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatayvu! May all Israel be inscribed for a good year to come. s

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