Rabbi Stephen Kahn’s Message to our CBI Family

Arise, my darling

My fair one, come away!

For now the winter is past,

The rains are over and gone.

The blossoms have appeared in the land…

– The Song of Songs 2:10-11

The meaning of life’s transitions are so difficult to describe, let alone

capture in words. Whether delivering a eulogy at the funeral of a loved one

or marking the beginning of the covenant with a new baby’s family, I often

feel overwhelmed by the experience. Thankfully, King Solomon wrote these

words nearly 3,000 years ago, capturing the essence of transition while

providing us the imagery necessary in describing how we hope to realize in

the coming year. He reminds us that we will inevitably face dark times in our

lives, but that the rains will ultimately end and be replaced by our hopes.

This message from The Songs of Songs represents the fundamental idea of Jewish High Holy Days which are our time to mark such transitions. This year, more than ever, may we know this message as we transition away from the very long “winter” of these past few years.

For many, this will be our first Rosh Hashanah together, in person, in three years. While it is exciting to think about the power of praying together again, we know that for many of us, these past years have been painful and overwhelming. We will continue to be mindful of each other, respectful of our own ways of coping and enable everyone to pray together in safety and health.

During Rosh Hashanah, please take a moment to look around at our congregation and reflect on the teaching of King Solomon. Be mindful that your presence – our presence – both physical and spiritual, represents a significant transition. The rains will be “over and gone,” and together, we will welcome a new day, a new time and a new post pandemic era.

As we contemplate the year that has passed, let us be reminded that each one of us has the power that comes from hope; that every single act we do – or as the case may be, the times we do not act – can change the trajectory of this world we share. As the new moon of Tishrei rises in the evening sky let us be reminded that this season of change from old to new – even from darkness to light – can be for a blessing if we will it to be. And may we all continue to know that through sincere prayer, repentance and charity, we can become the change we hope to see.

My family and I wish you a sweet, healthy and hope-filled year!

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