Blessing for the Jewish New Year from Rabbi Menachem Margolin

November 27, 2017

Rosh Hashana marks the beginning of the year according to the Jewish calendar, We are now in the year 5778.

In Hebrew, Rosh HaShanah does not mean ‘the beginning of the year’ or ‘the new year’ but ‘the head of the year’. This means thatRosh Hashana should influence us for the entire year just as our head manages our body. 

Rosh Hashana is not being celebrated on the first day of the creation of the world according to the Bible, but rather on the sixth day of its creation. The reason for this is that on the sixth day of the creation of the world, Adam was created

In addition, we do not wish a happy new year or happy holiday but a ‘good year’ - that means that the entire year will be good. 

This is because Rosh Hashanah is the day that reminds us that as human beings, we all have a responsibility to make this world a good world. A world of moral values, kindness and charity. Not only on the day of Rosh Hashanah but throughout the entire year.

We live in a challenging times. The Bible teaches us that all challenges are given to us by God in order to strengthen us and reveal in us forces that are revealed only when a person is really capable of using them.

Just as hard work at a gym - those who go ... it's hard, but in the end it makes us stronger.

 The goal is to discover these forces and exploit them to make this world a good world.

Every year, when Rosh Hashanah comes - the birthday of the first person - each of us is obligated to make good decisions for the whole world.

On this Rosh Hashanah, we at eja started working on a large project that would bring people from all religions and backgrounds together and join forces to save lives in Europe. I call on each of you to take a few minutes and think how you can use your powers to make this world a world of  goodness and kindness.

Happy new year to everyone
 

Additional Articles

German Nazi war crimes suspect, 96, who went on the run goes on trial


Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, is pictured at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
A 96-year-old German woman who was caught shortly after going on the run ahead of a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War Two appeared before a judge on Tuesday in the northern town of Itzehoe, writes Miranda Murray, Reuters.
Irmgard Furchner (pictured), accused of having contributed as an 18-year-old to the murder of 11,412 people when she was a typist at the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, was taken into the sparse courtroom in a wheelchair.
Her face was barely visible behind a white mask and scarf pulled low over her eyes. Security was heavy as the judge and legal staff made their way into the court.
Between 1939 and 1945 some 65,000 people died of starvation and disease or in the gas chamber at the concentration camp near Gdansk, in today's Poland. They included prisoners of war and Jews caught up in the Nazis' extermination campaign.
Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, arrives in a wheelchair at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
Judge Dominik Gross arrives in the courtroom for the trial against Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
The trial was postponed after Furchner left her home early on Sept. 30 and went on the run for several hours before being detained later that day.
Charges could not be read until Furchner, who faces trial in an adolescent court because of her young age at the time of the alleged crimes, was present in court.
She is the latest nonagenarian to have been charged with Holocaust crimes in what is seen as a rush by prosecutors to seize the final opportunity to enact justice for the victims of some of the worst mass killings in history.
Although prosecutors convicted major perpetrators - those who issued orders or pulled triggers - in the 1960s "Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials", the practice until the 2000s was to leave lower-level suspects alone.

Ambassadors are Like Rabbis: Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam,  which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl and then: scroll down.
Ambassadors are like Rabbis…
Today was all about abroad. The Ambassador of Hungary had invited me to lunch at his embassy. We have known each other for a few years, meet from time to time and so again today. Reason for the visit? No. Just catching up again about kosher slaughter, which was threatening to become a problem in Poland and the relationship between Hungary and Israel.
Because it would not be exactly easy to arrange a kosher meal at the Hungarian embassy, ​we (my wife and I) invited him to lunch with us.
So,the ambassador came to Amersfoort and we not to The Hague. Not wanting to come empty-handed, he brought a huge bouquet of flowers and a bottle of kosher wine.
How did he get that wine? The ambassador called his friend Naor (the ambassador of Israel) and he arranged for a bottle of kosher Israeli wine from the IPC - the Israel Products Center - in Nijkerk to be delivered to the Hungarian embassy that morning. And because the Ambassador of Hungary did not know about the existence of the IPC, which is ten minutes from my house, I took him there after lunch. Of course I made sure that in addition to the tour and explanation about the objective of IPC and Christians for Israel, he also received a pack of cookies. Because: tomorrow the ambassador of Israel will visit the Hungarian ambassador and then it seemed nice that I then pay back the bottle of wine via a roll of kosher Israeli biscuits.
Apart from that, I gave the ambassador a mask with “I love Israel” on it, so that the Hungarian ambassador can wear it when the Israeli ambassador comes to make his appearance.
Networking is something like that. Usually it does not deliver on the spot, but is important nonetheless. Ambassadors do no different, and are a bit like rabbis, at least my kind of rabbis.
Because I believe that the rabbi is of course primarily there for the Jewish community in its full breadth. But for that Jewish community, contact with outside that community is also of vital importance, because we are part of the wider society: Noah had to leave the Ark by order of Gd!
Apart from the importance for the Jewish community, we also have a duty, in my opinion, to contribute to the well-being of the surrounding society. Yesterday I had a visit from another kind of ambassador, namely Dr. Pieter de Boer, member of the deputy Church and Israel of the CGK-Christelijk Gereformeerde Kerken- and spokesperson of the Interkerkelijke Werkgroep. That Working Group had drawn up a statement of guilt on the attitude of the churches during and shortly after the war. Today, that statement of guilt was officially released.
Although for me such a debt declaration is not really necessary, I was especially touched by the comment about what went wrong after the war. My grandfather and grandmother's nephews and nieces were not allowed to be raised with my grandfather and grandmother, but were to remain in the Christian homes where they had been in hiding. Of course, those parents had bonded with the kids, saved their lives, but ... they really hadn't given up their murdered parents with the intention of being raised as Christians.
And whilst with the ambassador: a phone call from Ukraine. One of the rabbis was in a conflict with Christians for Israel supporting him with an adoption project. People in the Netherlands adopt a poverty-stricken Jewish family in Ukraine for € 25 per month. In Kirovograd, communication between the Dutch donors and the local rabbi did not go well. And so I get a call from the rabbi and start mediating or solving, as a kind of ambassador of whom I really don't know, but I am somewhere in between.
After the necessary phone calls, I hope that I have been able to straighten everything out again and that it also runs smoothly in Kirovograd. What is difficult here is that the local rabbi speaks fluent Russian, but no Yiddish, poor English and not optimal Hebrew, and certainly no Dutch! But I believe I've been able to tie things together again. In the meantime, I am waiting for the results of an archival investigation to confirm someone's Jewishness. I feel that it can be checked that way, but not everyone shares my opinion that (almost) everything should be tackled immediately. In principle, I always answer e-mail immediately.
As a result, I sometimes spend late at night behind that stupid computer that has been controlling my whole life!
But Good news! At least in my opinion. Because, of course, it is really not the case that a hundred listeners are more important than ten at a lecture, and the same goes for the number of readers of my diaries, still, I have to admit my weakness in this, I like that my diaries are getting wide read. And so: Good news for me! Coincidentally (although I really believe that coincidence does not exist) the EJA –European Jewish Association- saw one of my diaries, translated it with Google and asked permission to post this diary a few times a week on their website and their Facebook. And thus more readers. My diary is going European!

New Cooperation with NIG De Stedendriehoek

The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.
We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with NIG De Stedendriehoek
We very much look forward to work closely together to the benefit of the Apeldoorn jewish community and European Jewry as a whole

NEVER MEANS NEVER Campain

This evening Israel will mark Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah -Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day'.
For this occasion we invite you all to take part in the 'NEVER MEANS NEVER' campain by the
International March of the Living.
Take the opportunity to write your personal message
To be placed on the railroad tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau
you can find all info here: https://nevermeansnever.com/

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