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Each week we feature a different Florida Rabbi.


Rabbi Nason Goldstein
Temple Beth Zion
Royal Palm Beach

With the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul, there is an air of excitement. Rosh Hashana will soon be here. We feel a sense of accomplishment – we have lived another year. Some of us, unfortunately, have experienced crises and sadness. Most of us approach Rosh Hashana with a sense of relief and accomplishment. Despite all that has happened, we have a sense of joy. We are blessed to be able to celebrate another Rosh Hashana.

For some there is the feeling of optimism, which comes with expectation that with the coming of the New Year the frustrations and mistakes of the past will be forgotten, and we will be able to start afresh.

True, we do pray for a new beginning during the high Holiday season. True, we are promised atonement for our sins. However, in order to achieve this goal, we must recall the year that has past with all its joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats.

To pretend that nothing has happened during the past year is to defeat the promise of Rosh Hashana. We must not become mired in the mistakes of the past; we dare not forget the lessons of our experience, we must not forget our successes.

Rosh Hashana is called, among other things, Yom-Hazikaron the Day of Remembrance. During the hours of prayer we are encouraged to remember the past so that we may build on it. We are encouraged to consider the events of our lives. We are reminded of our attachment to the Jewish people. We are reminded of God s love. This High Holiday season, let us remove the blocks to our memory so that we may recall our past and build a better New Year.

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