I am honored to have the opportunity to share my wisdom and recommendations for how to look at the positive side of what is happening in the world today. It’s interesting that my thoughts and opinions are now considered wisdom; I must really be getting old. In the past, I was usually told to keep my thoughts to myself. It was safer that way. In some ways, the culture of today has distorted the “norms” and is forcing many to play it safe by keeping our thoughts to ourselves lest we jeopardize our standing in the workplace and community.
This “self-filtering” is nothing new for our people. At times we had to keep our faith in secret, practicing our rituals and customs in the shadows lest we be called out as heretics and worse. Have you ever wondered how many came before us that were found in the shadows and did not have the opportunity to leave a legacy? I am not referring only to the 6 million of the Shoah but also all those that came before them.
We, the Jews of today, are the living results of our ancestors who withstood all the purges, pogroms and genocides. And let’s not forget assimilation. Yet we are still here and thriving. We will withstand the coronavirus, the cancel culture and whatever other hardships are thrown in our way – as well as the ones we create for ourselves.
We will do more than just survive. We will continue to excel and achieve and grow our community in spite of the winds in our faces. We have learned how to be self-reliant, how to remain a community and how to leverage our faith in God.
As this new year approaches and we enter the Days of Awe, remind yourself that your very existence in this land of liberty, religious freedom and unfettered freedom of speech is, in fact, awe inspiring.
Jody Pollack is executive director of the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival.