Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Questions for the New Year


From the pages of Kadima, the newsletter of Congregation Adas Emuno:

A Message From Our President

Dr. Lance Strate

Questions for the New Year

For students, teachers, and parents, September signals the start of a new school year. And for Jews all around the world, it is a reminder that our New Year is right around the corner (although this year a bit further down the bend than usual).

It's a busy time of year, the end of summer, the beginning of autumn, but then again, maybe it seems like we're busy all year around? That every day of the week is filled with activities? That we fill every moment of every day with some obligation or entertainment or distraction?

Do you feel saturated? Do you think you may be over-stimulated? And importantly, are you satisfied?

Do you allow yourself much time to let your mind wander? To daydream? To get lost in your thoughts? To just be alone with yourself? To meditate? And yes, to pray?

Do you find time to spend with others, with family, friends, community, without an agenda, without pressure to get something done or get somewhere on time, open-ended time just to relate to one another, engage in real conversation, heart to heart, or join together with others in ways that take you out of your routines and expectations?

What is the meaning and purpose of life? What is it that you really would like to accomplish? In the short term and the long term? Are you doing what you need to do to reach those goals? Or have you maybe attained them already, and just keep going anyway? What are your priorities? What should they be? What is it that really matters, in the end?

What is the legacy that you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered, by family, friends, and your community?

What does being Jewish mean to you? What did it mean to the generations that came before you? What will it mean to your children, and the generations to come? What would you want them to know and learn about our tradition? What kind of example are you setting for them?

What does Congregation Adas Emuno mean to you? What role does it play in your life? What role should it play in your life? What can you do to make more room in your life for all that our congregation has to offer, for spiritual communion, education, and social action?

How can we join together to make things better, for our congregation, our community, our world?

The answers to these questions will undoubtedly vary from one person to another. And they will also change over time. But what is most important is to ask the questions in the first place. Asking questions, what could be more Jewish than that?

1 comment:

  1. How can we join together to make things better, for our congregation, our community, our world? Thank you for asking, Lance.

    My way to contribute used to be via teaching and scientific research. But my present contributions are theologically oriented. I am trying to understand God, and to share my simlpe reflections. The most recent item is a short letter about God, addressed to our six year old grand daughter Emily. I would be happy to show this letter to those congregants who might be interested. Just ask me privately, when we see each other, for example, after our next Saturday meeting.

    Best New Year wishes to all,