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New Years Wishes from our Rabbis

As a graduate of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion I was invited, as every year, to join a conference call with President Obama this morning as he extends greetings to Reform Rabbis. Unfortunately I had a conflict in my schedule which precluded my participation but I thought, considering the turmoil in the Middle East and the pressing issues in this country, beyond the platitudes, what could he really say?
And then I got a message from Rabbi Robert Orkand, who graduated with me from HUC. He is currently the president of ARZA, a branch of the Reform Movement which advocates for Liberal Judaism in Israel. While he's not president of the United States, his message could have been delivered by any head of state. He wrote:
During the coming year may you enjoy good health and happiness. May peace reign over our country and throughout the world. May you have a kiss from your beloved, a smile from a child, a warm cozy house with the aroma of good food baking in the oven. May you have wise governors and merciful tax collectors, good friends and helpful neighbors. May you enjoy the fruits of your labors, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and may the sun shine on your face - but not too much. May you see a rainbow. May the Sabbath Queen enter your home and enable you to follow the teachings of the Torah with love. May the world be a better place because you are in it, and may you find delight in reading a good book, finding a good bargain, doing a good deed, and giving tzedakah with an open hand. Whenever it rains - as it will, may you have an umbrella. And may we meet on the streets of Jerusalem in the year to come.
I don't know if he composed this greeting, but I liked it very much. It reminds all of us to be thankful for the small things in life. We need to be reminded every once in a while. So keep an umbrella with you... because in everyone's life, there will always be a little rain ... but also enjoy the sunshine. From my familiy to yours... Shanah Tova. 

Rabbi Brown

Dear Beth Am family,
I received a Rosh Hashanah e-mail from a friend of mine that I would like to share with all of you.
The essence of any holiday is represented by its main mitzvah.
The mitzvah of Rosh Hashana is the shofar. According to the basic Torah law, the minimum requirement is 9 sounds of the shofar.
The Talmud explains that the shofar sounds represent the sounds of crying. That means that the essence of Rosh Hashana is to cry out.
But it goes deeper than that...
The actual mitzvah of shofar is not to blow the shofar. It is to hear the sounds of the shofar. 
So really, the essence of Rosh Hashana is to hear someone else's cry. 
In that merit, may G-d hear our cries and answer our prayers with blessings and good fortune.
Wishing you a healthy, successful, and meaningful New Year filled with blessings.

Wishing you all a Shanah Tovah U'Metukah - a happy, healthy and sweet New Year
Rabbi Mickey Baum