Column: What Are Your Hopes For 2020?

Rabbi Moshe Weisblum (Photo by Irving Freed)

By Rabbi Moshe Weisblum

When we are expressing our hopes for the year 2020, it’s not just another resolution. It is the resolution, a fundamental and crucial decision to our existence and happiness.

We face many worries and concerns today, such as the immigration law, gun control, economic inequality, world violence and blind hatred. Even in our daily lives, we must constantly deal with difficult people. People who are stubborn, are unwilling to compromise or give in. People who are abusive, obsessed with control, torment verbally and emotionally, oppress physically and seek self-gain, self-control at the expense of others.

Often, we feel stuck, unable to get our message through, powerless to change the situation that seems to have no way out. We feel hopeless, mired in a rut and have a self-defeating “slave mentality” to habits or circumstances.

Sometimes, our own emotional resources are not enough to pull us up. We might need to turn to someone, whether family, a friend, a professional or spiritual leader, to advocate for us, to be our voice in negotiating with someone difficult. This is not weakness, but it is a sign of strength to know when we need help. The change may come gradually, but we must persevere, have patience, strength and faith. Each of us has a mission with a personal connection to the Almighty, which gives us the ability to accomplish what might at first seem impossible and we can only succeed with divine assistance.

In our lives, we also need the Almighty’s help and protection to surmount difficulties. When we don’t feel strong enough on our own, we can draw on our Heavenly father’s infinite strength, through the power of prayer. Our words and our thoughts clear the path for our actions. When we set our words for victory, we set our year for victory. As it is written in Proverbs chapter 15 (1): “A soft answer turneth away wrath…”, (2): “ The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright…”, (4): “A soothing tongue is a tree of life…”

If we decide to communicate with people in a divinely manner while having an open mind, an open heart, tolerance, good will, compassion and putting the you before the I, then we will somehow find a way to get along.

So we want to pray that those people who were hard to talk to and tough to deal with. Somehow, we will find the way to be able to survive together in a better world—in a world that everyone gets along with each other, a world of fraternity and love. A world where we devote ourselves to creating, building and we thrive instead of hating and destroying. A world in where Isaiah’s prophecy is a reality (Isaiah 2:4): “And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

May we free ourselves from whatever is holding us back, and help one another to overcome challenges. There is always time to be better. It is never too late. Let us search our souls and think about what we can do that will improve the quality of our lives and of those around us.

In this way, we will bring peace, dignity and joy to ourselves, our families, our communities and hopefully to the entire world. Amen.

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