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“Yiden Zeit Yiden—Jews Be Jews”


         The clarion call of the shofar as we usher in the year 5783 is Yiden Zeit Yiden — Jews Be Jews! It is not an easy task.  “Seez shver tzu zein ah Yid — It is hard to be a Jew.” It is not easy and if anybody tells you it is, he lies.  Anybody that tries to sugar-coat yiddishkeit misleads you. It is more than kugel and chulent and food. It requires effort and more importantly—it requires that which no other religion requires—limud Torah.

        It turns our attention this Rosh Hashanah to shofar, which reminds us of the willingness of Abraham and Isaac, the progenitors of our people, to sacrifice for their faith and belief.

Nothing worthwhile is obtained without sacrifice. Parents sacrifice for their children. A scientist gives up time and pleasures to devote himself to his work which may be a boon to mankind. A student sacrifices hours of leisure time to devote himself to his studies—to achieve, to learn, to succeed.

And a Jew must sacrifice convenience, casual indifference and sometimes even comfort to enable him to appreciate his heritage and religion. But once this latent dormant power of Yiddishkeit is converted, its energy can turn a pareve Jew into a warm-hearted individual whose life becomes transformed from a meaningless seeker of emptiness to a meaningful pursuer of Torah and absolute values. This conversion can turn us into human beings, created in the image of G-d and worthy of the name JEW.

There is a latent power of Yiddishkeit in each and every one of us, to accomplish greater things in every area of Jewish life: to increase  our observance of Torah and Mitzvot; to enhance our loyalty to things Jewish; to improve our commitment to Israel and to its people. We dare not be complacent. Indifference and complacency is our tragedy.  Conversion into involvement with things Jewish is our goal.

             May the Almighty, on this Rosh Hashanah, grant us the ability to draw closer to Him. May  He answer our prayers for a year of good health, life, happiness and nachas from our families in a peaceful world.


Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!

Rabbi Jonathan Horowitz



Fri, September 30 2022 5 Tishrei 5783