Rosh Hashanah Message from Rabbi Harari

A Rosh Hashanah Message from JBHS Head of School Rabbi Dr. Raymond Harari
In just a few days we will be listening to the sounds of the shofar. Our rabbis understood that we are required to hear at least one hundred blasts. These blasts are composed of three different kinds of sounds in various formulations: teqiah, a long unadorned blast, shevarim, a broken three-part sound, and teruah, an intensely broken sound. None of these sounds can stand alone. Indeed, one who hears one hundred of only one or two sounds has not fulfilled his obligation. Rather, the teqiah must always be surrounded by one or both of the other two sounds.

These last months have brought untold suffering and hardships to people around the world. No community has been spared. And yet, there have been some hidden lessons that have accrued. One, in particular, has to do with our sense of community and interdependence. Rarely in our lifetimes has it been so clear how we are all dependent on one another. This is so not simply in the obvious area of health and safety. With the loss and downgrading of our personal connections, we have become more and more aware of how we thrive on social connections, how much we can relieve the difficulty of others with offers of assistance, how we can relieve the loneliness of friends and others with simple visits. I have been fortunate to see personally so many acts of hesed in the last six months.

Ultimately, like the sounds of the shofar, we are all tied to each other. As social creatures, we have come to realize how our lives are impoverished by the loss of human interaction with others both inside and outside of our immediate circles.

I hope and pray that we recover quickly from this terrible plague. But I also hope that we will never forget the valuable lessons that we have learned.

Rabbi Dr. Raymond Harari
JBHS Head of School
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