From Rabbi Sami Barth, November 6, 2020
The theme of our havdalah gathering continues from last week, turning to Jewish texts from Bible to 20th century that connect us with profound Jewish vision for the future. The past fews days have been challenging in many ways; the elections have not brought the resolution and structure that many had anticipated. The current uncertainty may well continue for a while.
I am very taken by a distinction drawn by Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks, trained in philosophy. He identifies optimism as essentially a passive disposition, a feeling that things could be better. But “hope” he describes as an active commitment that things will get better – if we work together. It is not an accident that the anthem of Israel is HaTikvah (The Hope) and that the words speak of “tikvat shnot alpayim” (The hope of two thousand years). I am filled with hope for the future of this country, and the world – and am willing and committed to my share of the work that will be a small part of making the hopes and dreams a reality.
And I am filled with hope for the future that will be built together by congregations Bnai Emunah and Beth Israel Judea, working together from the Emunah (faith) and community vision of the founders.
Last week at Havdallah we explored the peerless words of Saul Tchernikofsky, articulating a vision of workers casting off their chains, of nations embracing each other, and finding kindred spirits with whom the future could be welcomed. Hear a modern Israeli setting (with subtitles in English, Hebrew and Russian) .
I look forward to sharing some further Jewish dreams of an ideal future world with you on Shabbat afternoon at 6 PM – with Havdallah at around 7 PM.