By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields
Executive Director, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
Our new year, תשײפ in Hebrew, 5780, begins a new decade in the Hebrew Calendar. This new year could be an acronym for a Hebrew sentence – תהיה שנה פעילה, Tehyeh Shana Peilah, May this be a year of action. This should be a charge to all of us – to make sure that we see this as a motto for our life throughout this new year of 5780, and throughout the new Hebrew decade we are beginning. Each of us should make a list of our goals: what we want to accomplish this year. What will be on your list?
Three things which guide me in my daily life – God, Torah and Israel. On my goal list this year, I pray that all my actions will be God like – holy, sacred, with the best intent, as I aim to live every day. I hope to study and teach Torah every day. Off and on over the last seven years, I have tried to keep up with Daf Yomi, a daily page of Talmud study each day. The seven-and-a-half-year cycle concludes in the beginning of 2020. Over the past Daf Yomi cycle, I had finished some tractates of Talmud, and often fell behind. Last week, I began Tractate Meilah, which the Talmud cycle of learning is now studying. I hope I can conclude the last tractates with this cycle of Daf Yomi, and begin again when the new Daf Yomi cycle begins in early 2020. The third guide to my daily life is Israel – which I see not only as the State of Israel, but, rather, as the Jewish people. I dedicate my life to being a guide, a madricha, to help others in the Jewish community to find their own personal relationships with God, Torah and Israel. I have tried to make it a goal to visit the State of Israel, and be a strong advocate for the State of Israel. How can we all make sure that God, Torah and Israel are on all of our Goal Lists this new year of 5780?
One of my favorite sayings from Pirkei Avot, Ethics of our Ancestors 1:15, is Emor me’at ve’aseh harbe, Say little and do much. In this year of 5780, let it not be a year of talk, but a year of action, and a year of helping each other, where we live the message of our 5780 Torah Fund pin, Chesed, kindness.
I pray that the acronym for 5780, Tehyeh Shana Peilah, May this be a year of action, and the word Chesed, will be inspirations for us in this new year of 5780. Psalms 89:3 states, “Olam Chesed Yibaneh,” Build this world on love. May this new year of 5780 תשײפ be a year in which we all bring more love and kindness and true acts of Chesed into our lives, each and every day. Shana Tova oo’Mituka! May this New Year of 5780 be a year of sweetness, health and happiness for all!