NEW YORK — As my family and I prepare for Rosh Hashanah, we look back with grateful hearts for the brachot, blessings, in our lives. We take time to reflect on the joys and the challenges, the ups and downs, that we experienced during the previous year. To me, a meaningful observance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur requires taking stock of life’s hard-earned victories and heartfelt woes, its wondrous gifts and unceremonious misfortunes, its underappreciated blessings and unfulfilled potential.
As Jews, we have the opportunity — indeed, the obligation — to renew ourselves in mind and soul at this time of year. Sometimes the hardships we have faced over the past year or the significant unrest in today’s world can make the promise of hope implicit in Rosh Hashanah seem elusive. Yet just as it has throughout Jewish history, the cry of the shofar summons us to spiritual clarity, renewing our faith in a brighter tomorrow and calling on us to craft it together.