This Rosh HaShanah each of us enters this gathering with a different need. Our souls are stirred by memory as we recall the days that have gone by.

A secular Rosh Hashanah service at City Congregation

A secular Rosh Hashanah service at City Congregation

Some hearts are full of gratitude and joy. They are overflowing with the happiness of love and the joy of life. They are eager to confront the day, to make the world more fair. They are recovering from illness or have escaped misfortune. And we rejoice with them.

Some hearts ache with sorrow. Disappointments weigh heavily upon them, and they have tasted despair. Families have been broken. Loved ones lie on a bed of pain. Death has taken those whom they cherished. May our presence and sympathy bring them comfort.

Some hearts are embittered. They have sought answers in vain; have had their ideas mocked and betrayed. Life has lost its meaning and value. May the knowledge that we too are searching, restore their hope that there are truths and purposes to find.

Now, we look ahead with hope, grateful for the daily gift of renewal, for the promise of good to come. May this Rosh HaShanah be our day of rebirth into life and peace, serenity and safety, as the new year begins.

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