Welcome! I am Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of Madison, Wisconsin. "Pulpit Perspectives: My Observations as a Congregational Rabbi" is published every two weeks to reflect my observations about life in my congregation and with my members. The opinions expressed here are solely my own. I invite you to join the dialogue!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Wish for a New Year

Happy New Year, and Shabbat Shalom!

We Jews live in a multifaceted realm. When the new Jewish year begins, we wish one another a happy New Year. When the new secular year starts out, we also wish one another a good year ahead, even after late nights of partying and days of disappointing football results.

Be that as it may, the transition from one year to the next allows us – again – to re-examine our lives and to seek out new patterns of existence if we believe they are in order.

Along with many who observe life in all its complexity, such as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, I too believe that "we are not locked in a realm where causality, struggle for existence, the will to exert power, personal urges, and the craving for prestige" are the only motivations that drive us.

We crave relationship, connection, and enrichment with one another in this world.

We desire the human touch, the kind word, the understanding glance, and the optimistic outlook for the future.

The Shabbat allows us to imagine what truly human life can be like, so that we can change our lives for the better.

I wish everyone a Shabbat of peace.