Sept 26 2019 Dvar Torah

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Rabbi Robert Eisen

So many times, for so many different reasons, I have heard people say: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” Though meant to be comforting and supportive, having heard the phrase over and over and over and over again, I wonder sometimes “Why?” … I wonder as to who is profiting more from voicing such concerns: those who are offering the said thoughts and prayers, or the people to whom they might be directing them ?!?!

Why do I bring up that concern? Because in just a few short days, many of us will pause to formally embrace the beginning of the New Year, 5780. We will gather together into (and as) our communities and spend not a few hours thinking and praying. What will we be thinking and praying about? Whom will we be thinking and praying about? What is the point of all those thoughts and prayers?

What will we be thinking about?

We will review the year now coming to a close and begin to think:
• wonder where those who are no longer with us physically may have gone … why they are gone
• wonder about missed opportunities and the mistakes that sometimes seem to be all that we can remember
• wonder about where the time went … and the people we felt so close with as well

And, we will review the year now coming to a close and think about:
• how important the loves in our lives are to us and for us
• how much we really did achieve over the course of the past 12 months … the moments that matter most because of the lasting positive impact they had on us and on the world as a whole
• how appreciative we are for the time that we did have … and the people with whom we shared it as well

What will we be praying about?

We will look at the year that is now before us and pray:
• for health and wealth
• for faith (in ourselves and each other) and fortitude
• for the strength to make each and every moment what we want them to be

And, we will look at the year that is now before us and pray
• for the hope that this year brings peace and fulfillment to those that matter the most to us
• for the vision to see each other for what we still can be … become
• for the wisdom to understand how blessed we are with the opportunity God has given us to live life as we do

So many thoughts … so many prayers. What do they all mean? Only what we make them. As words, they sound good. But as deeds they echo into the beyond. Especially as we do pause to offer “thoughts and prayers”, let us remember that such sentiments are easy to come by between ROSH HaSHANNAH and YOM KIPPUR. However, what is more important (perhaps even the reason for the season to begin with) is how we make them come to life in, and through, our deeds from YOM KIPPUR to ROSH HaSHANNAH.

Thoughts and prayers are nice. However, what is even nicer is making them come true.

May you/we all have a year of HEALTH, a year of happiness, a year of peace … a year within which all our thoughts and prayers (at least the ones that should) come true.