Every year, the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur mean more and more to me.
I love how our Rabbi encourages questions with true thought and reflection. Last night's and today's sermons were incredibly powerful and I am still finding myself reviewing all that was said in my head tonight.
With every new day there is a new beginning and with every new year there are new opportunities. When people ask me each day how I am doing, I usually answer with "Fantastic". Why? Because I woke up, with 24 hours ahead of me. I woke up on an even playing field with everyone else across the world regardless of religious beliefs, political affiliations, gender, race, or the amount of money in their pocket. No one is ever given more than 24 hours to work with each and every day.
So what will I do with each day I am blessed with in this new year?
I will continue to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone every day. I may only take baby steps at first, but my motivation is to make a better home for my children and my children's children, as I always have, and I will be successful.
While the right decisions are often the most difficult to make, I believe any of you that know me agree that I am not one to shy away from standing up for what's right, against the odds and despite the negative venom that can often be thrown my way. This won't change and actually with the sermons I've embraced over the last 24 hours, I feel even more empowered to not only defend others, but to stand up for what I have done over the years. I have made a difference and I will continue to do so - MARK MY WORD.
So tonight I would like to reach out to all of you. I hope that all of you will take some time to reflect and remind yourselves that when you sit silently by and watch wrong doings, you are supporting what's wrong. Stop looking away. Stop justifying your actions with not wanting to pick a side or wanting to get involved. Stop thinking that by not standing up, you aren't picking a side - your silence does just that. As a dear friend of mine often says, "Sit on the fence post long enough, you'll end up with a fence post up your XXX."
It does take a village to build a future. A village filled with residents who will stand up for what's right for all, not what's right for them. As Rabbi Barr said today, "You may not be guilty, but we are all responsible."
Make this year the year you fight for what's right, fight for something bigger than yourself, fight even when it's hard and easier to quit. Don't ever let any amount of mental gymnastics make a horrific act, acceptable.