Divrei Tikvah

Rabbi Johanna Hershenson’s Words of Hope

Shana tovah, Temple Beth Tikvah family and friends! Can you believe it? Labor Day is behind us, school has begun, and the High Holy Days are just weeks away.

Celebrating the Jewish New Year, for me, is always about reflecting and recalibrating. When I was younger, I enjoyed the recalibrating more than the reflecting. I was always ready to try something new in the name of improving myself and my relationships. Now that I’m a little older and my daughters are adulting, I notice more of a balance between the reflecting and recalibrating. As we age time seems to move faster. I understand fully that the rushing by of years has something to do with the length of a day in proportion to life already lived. As we age and more of our life is already lived, the shorter a day or a year becomes. I can only imagine someday (may it be in the distant future) the reflecting will supersede the recalibrating.

This Rosh Hashanah I will speak to the turning not simply of leaves from green to reds and yellows but to the rising and falling of distinct generational influences on society and within a single family. I believe that each generation moves humanity a tiny if not infinitesimal distance towards wherever it is our species is headed. What is the future we imagine and how will the generations that follow get us there?

On Yom Kippur I will explore how we communicate shared values and how we honor diversity in society. What makes for a healthy society in which people feel free as well as secure? How do we protect the liberties of individuals and at the same time facilitate a sense of belonging to a society distinct in its values?

I look forward to seeing you during our High Holy Day season in services and in between. Again, Shana Tovah!

B’virkat Shalom

Please remember you can always contact Rabbi Johanna (541-213-9880) or rabbihershenson@bethtikvahbend.org if you need to schedule an appointment.