Rosh Hashanah marks a new year for Jewish people throughout the world. In the days leading up to this holy day, individuals are expected to review the past year, identify anything which has led to harm to others and consider ways to atone for this indiscretion. Of course, on Yom Kuppur, Jews inform God of their sins and beg forgiveness for not behaving according to Jewish law and tradition. This year, words of hate, words urging slaughter of innocent Muslims, words insulting those not Jewish, words threatening to halt efforts for peace, words pointing to war and death, have all been too common among many Israel leaders. It is time to walk away from hatred and embrace traditional Jewish values of social justice. It is time for all Jews to reach out to Palestinians and Arabs of the Mideast in order to share our common heritage. We, genetically, are more alike than different.
Rosh Hashanah contains the seeds of a new year, but it also contains the seeds of new ventures and directions for all concerned with securing peace in the Middle East. In bitter discussions which produce hatred and anger we forget that God seeks peace for all his children.