ELKAN’S VIEW FROM RADLETT 9th September 2015
Rosh Hashanah is a time for reflection. In Jewish tradition it is only one of four new years. The others are 1st Nissan – Kings and festivals; 1st Elul – animals; and Tu B’Shvat, 15th Shevat, the New Year for Trees.
Rosh Hashanah, changes the number of the year (to 5776), marks Shemittah the seven-year cycle of rest for the land, and Jubilees, the 50 year cycle which we no longer know.
This issue therefore seemed the right time to review some of the past year.
I’ve written from Jewish communities in Hong Kong Thailand and Croatia, as well nearer home from Plymouth. I’ve reported on Shavuot in the Negev and the delights of living in a Jewish state (when was the last time a passport officer wished you a Shanah Tovah?). I have frequently written from Radlett, and will officiate there and mark the 53rd year in which I have been privileged to lead communities in prayer on Yamim Noraim.
Last year has undoubtedly been difficult for Jews all over the world, and there is no indication that next year is going to be any better. We continue to witness the sheer idiocy of Obama’s legacy on Iran, the consequences of which have yet to be realised.
The Israeli government continues to handle the situation insensitively instead of turning this crisis into an opportunity. Much for Israel will hang on next year’s presidential elections
Anti-Semitism has become worse in most countries of the world including Britain. The murders in Denmark and France have clearly sounded warnings in those communities, and in Britain we have yet to see the result of the growing political power of the Muslim community, together with the influx of refugees from the Middle East who have been brainwashed to hate Jews.
But all is not bad. Israel continues to lead the world in so many areas, and to provide a modern Jewish state that has been absent in our past history. Rosh Hashanah marks a renewal and a vote of confidence in our future.
I wish all my readers all over the world a Shanah Tovah uMetukah, a good and sweet 5776