Dear friends, Most of us, no matter how non-tech savvy we are, have gotten used to GPS. We type in a destination and a map of how to get where we want to go appears. To make things even easier, a voice issues from the speaker system telling us every turn we must make to reach our destination. Some of us wonder how we ever got anywhere without GPS. Try to imagine a kind of personal GPS to help us get through life. Imagine having a tool which would help us set our destination and also provide us the ability to get there. In a certain metaphorical way, our Torah and our Jewish way of life can do just that. It helps direct us towards that which is whole, life-affirming, productive and loving. When popular culture pushes us towards over-absorption with self or the idealization of wealth or social status -- things which often lead towards nihilism and viewing life as essentially meaningless -- the Jewish way of life pushes us back from these principals through its observances, rituals and literature. This push-back occurs because our traditions are the refraction of the life experience and wisdom of the hundreds of generations of Jews who went before us. They also connect us with the realm of that which is beyond human wisdom and understanding, the mystery of the divine. The road may be bumpy, and sometimes it even seems like the signal fades, leaving us stranded, or we make a wrong turn and find ourselves lost. But our GPS always comes through, and no matter how lost we seem to be, we can always find our way. L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu V’techatemu. May we be inscribed and sealed for a year of health, happiness blessing and peace.
Rabbi Gerald Sussman