We are now at the end of the month of Elul, just before the great days of awe, judgment and forgiveness. I am reminded of the adage “Man plans and G-d laughs!” Approaching the year 5781, we do not know how the COVID pandemic will play out, the timing of an anticipated vaccine, nor who will win the fiercely contested national election that has divided the nation and pitted brother against brother.
The stresses and strains of events out of our control are wearing thin on many. Maybe it is time to shut off the internet, turn off the evening news and talk radio and focus on what really matters in life and the relationships important to us.
The Second Temple was destroyed due to sinat chinam, baseless hatred. As we usher in the new year, we should double and redouble our efforts and seek a renewed commitment in reaching out to our brothers and sisters in kindness and baseless acts of love.
For each of us, we need to step back and take in the big picture. My mentor Rabbi Ephraim Silverman of Chabad of Cobb is fond of saying the person most responsible for our individual happiness is the one we look at in the mirror every morning! Not the president, governor or mayor, but ourselves.
Happiness is a choice and we must proactively choose!
From my family to yours, prayerful and traditional blessing for a good and sweet new year both materially and spiritually, kesivah vachasimah tovah! “
Mitchell Kaye served five times in the Georgia House of Representatives, has three children and two grandchildren, and lives in east Cobb with his wife Amy.