It’s a new beginning! This week Israel celebrated her 70th birthday and we celebrated with her!
Remember what life was like 70 years ago? I know…. Not all of us remember 1948. But, even if we don’t remember, it is likely that we heard stories and studied history. We know that Israel was born into a particular set of circumstances. And, we know that as each day progressed, from then until now, things have changed. And so, today we celebrate Israel at 70! Today, as we celebrate, we are not just celebrating an anniversary of what was a year ago, or 70 years ago. Because, today is a new day. And, every day is a new beginning!
This week’s double Torah portion begins with a reference to new beginnings. This week, the Torah turns our minds and hearts to the subject of the birth of each and every individual. From our very first day on this earth, we are individuals. Of course, just like the beginnings of the State of Israel, we are all born into a particular set of circumstances.
But, our Sages teach us that as each one of us is born, we are reminded that it is up to us to choose righteousness over evil. We are reminded that despite the fact that we are born into a particular set of circumstances, our supreme individual human challenge is to choose goodness, time and again, in an ever-evolving world.
It is not easy to be a human being. We are constantly confronted with new choices. And, try as we might, it is not always easy to discern and to choose the path of goodness.
Nevertheless, we celebrate personal and national birthdays each year, to remind ourselves that each day of life is a new beginning! Each day of life heralds new perspective, new purpose, and new promise! So, let’s celebrate life and the amazing possibilities for creativity and for growth that lie ahead for us as individuals, as a congregation, and as a community!
Rabbi Gilah Dror