Are you worried about the future of our community, schools, state, country or even our planet? Is there anything you can do to make a difference and affect change locally and beyond?
I believe that we actually can make a difference; we can change our vast surroundings. When the first human couple was created, they were told by their Creator: "Replenish the earth, and master it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:28).
We were given the power to master the whole world and to transform it for good, on land, sea and in the air, and we were instructed so to do; this is our task.
But there is one prerequisite for us to be able to unleash that transformative power and ‘change the world': we must first transform ourselves. It is hopeless to try to change everything around us if we ourselves remain unchanged. How can we fix the problems of society if we ourselves remain broken?
As the sun sets on Sept. 16, Jews around the world will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, marking 5773 years since creation. In Judaism, the ‘New Year’ is not only a day of celebration but a day of retrospection; what did we accomplish last year, and perhaps more importantly what will we do differently next year?
So as Rosh Hashanah approaches and our reflections begin, our first thoughts must be about how we can change. How can we make sure that our lives will be more meaningful and more productive than they have been?
But where do we begin? Our first step for change is connecting back to our Creator. After all, our Creator is the best source for learning how to maximize our potential. So we turn to Him in prayer, don the Tefillin, light Shabbat candles, or celebrate Shabbat or a festival with our families. Our transformation has now begun.
Spiritually refreshed and connected to our souls, we now can set out to become better parents, spouses and friends. As we change ourselves, our interactions change, those around us change, gradually creating a ripple of goodness spreading outwards and changing the entire world.
Join me this year on Rosh Hashanah as we begin to change our world by reconnecting to our Creator at the Jewish Community Center. At the JCC everyone is welcome. We see every person as a transformative agent waiting for their power to be unleashed. No fees or membership is required.
Our children lead the way in creating change. Come with your children to our interactive and fun family services designed especially for children, with programs for pre-school and elementary school ages.
May you succeed in bringing positive change to our world and in turn may you and your family be blessed with a happy and sweet year, both physically and spiritually.
Rabbi Yossi Mintz
Our High Holiday Services will be held at our Center at 2108 Vail Avenue in Redondo Beach. All are welcome and no membership is necessary!