Happy New Year / A Good New Year

“Happy New Year!” This phrase can be heard starting in December and continuing through January in every store and street, in each gathering and encounter. It is a beautiful wish for our human family: 

May 2023 prove to bring you much happiness and joy. May 2023 usher in greater gladness and merriment. 

The Jewish calendar marks a different new year every 1st of Tishrei when we celebrate the creation of the world, take stock of our actions, and seek to return to the best, most authentic versions of ourselves (what we call “teshuvah”). And the greeting we share with one another is Shanah Tovah or Shanah Tovah U’metukah: May you have a GOOD AND SWEET new year. It is a beautiful wish for our extended Jewish family: 

May 5784 be good for you and to you. May 5783 be a year in which you are good to others and to the earth. And may it be sweet for all of us (Amen!)

These two new year wishes are not the same but they needn’t be. Each one focuses on something different. And there is no need to choose; we can say “yes-and” to both new years and to both greetings. Let’s wish one another (and ourselves), and work towards, a future that is HAPPY, GOOD, and SWEET. 

So here is my wish to you: May 2023 be (and 5783 continue to be) a good year full of possibilities, of hope, of joy, and of growth for all of us. May these days inspire us to see the beauty in all things and cultivate the good in ourselves and others.

To conclude, it is my pleasure to share this sweet poem written by my colleague Rabbi Paul Kipnes about entering the new year:

A Blessing for Entering the New Year (And for Journeying Onward Any Time, Anywhere)

On the next part of your journey
Into a new year
Or a new career
As you make a new friend
Or to your heart you do tend
We wish you…B’hatzlacha (good luck)!

May your eyes open to glorious sights that will make your heart beat faster
And may your breathing slow enough to embrace the meaningfulness of it all

May your mind expand to explore new ideas and consider new possibilities
And may your thinking constrict enough to impede the inevitable kvetches and self-deprecating critique

May your sense of self morph and strengthen
As you experience what no longer is but what now just might be

May your awareness of what is and can be
Expand beyond what was and what you expected

And may the journey ahead be jam-packed with
Joy joined with serious self-reflection,
Fullness of family and friends, amidst an abundance of fun,
Insight, inspiration, and more than a touch of idealism,
With
Love sweetened with laughter, and
Healthy living, working, and being

And may you interact with and as part of
An increasingly haimische* humanity

Thus may you fill your heart and soul,
So that the
Journey ahead –
Into the unknown –
May be exciting, energizing, and absolutely…
Enough.

*Cozy, homey, comforting

RIG

Rabbi Ilyse Glickman

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