We are getting close to the end of the Torah cycle, and this week we read in Vayelech about the transition of power from Moses to Joshua. Moses stands before the Tribes of Israel and acknowledges that he is 120 years old, not able to go out or come in, and prohibited from crossing the Jordan and entering the land of Israel. He urges the people to be strong and courageous.
I am struck by Moses' courage and leadership. It would have been so easy for him to be consumed by disappointment and regret. But he was able to secure the future for his people by selecting a strong and respected successor who would lead them across the river and help them achieve great things. He understood the need for the Israelites to make new memories!
I too understand the need to make new memories. Moses had a vision that foresaw a bright but challenging future for his people. He understood that, under his leadership, the Israelites would be transformed from a group of wandering tribes of former slaves into the People of Israel.
As we approach Yom Kippur, we are asked to look inward and carefully review our lives, our actions and how we have treated one another. We ask for forgiveness from G-d, but even more powerful and often more difficult, we must ask forgiveness from each other. I personally want to apologize to anyone I may have offended or hurt and ask your forgiveness.
We will also spend time during Yom Kippur remembering all those who are no longer with us. While this is difficult, we can take comfort in memories of happier times filled with love and joy. We also remember those who laid the foundation upon which we now stand - those whose contributions we benefit from and whose dedication created the community fabric we continue to weave. In this new year of 5779, may we - like Moses and our predecessors - make new and joyful memories for those who will one day remember us.
G'mar Chatima Tova and Shabbat Shalom.
President and CEO