A message to the Jewish Community as you celebrate Rosh Hashanah - New Year.
9 September 2018
When we consider the state of the world, it is sometimes easy to become disheartened. It can be tempting to dismiss the troubles around us as too large to be solved by any one person. However, there is, in Rosh Hashanah, a guide to resolving humanity’s most enduring problems.
As you know, the shofar calls people to contemplate their lives, to recognise their faults, and to strive to better themselves. It is all too easy for us to become fixated on our daily routines and to forget these more challenging reflections. Of course, it is precisely because these reflections are so challenging that they are so valuable. I believe that the path to a better world begins with each of us recognising that no one is perfect and that we share the potential to improve the world by contributing our own self-improvement. If all people were encouraged to contemplate their shortcomings and to strive towards greater personal growth, humanity itself would more closely approach its full potential. The most remarkable element of this truth is that it does not require universal acceptance to be effective. Each of us is capable of making the world a tiny bit better and, as such, each of us is responsible for making that improvement.
Perfection is an unattainable goal, but the pursuit of it is a defining feature of the human spirit. Though I am not Jewish, I find that many aspects of Rosh Hashanah speak to the better parts of each of us and through us to the best elements of humanity.
May this New Year be a sweet one full of health and happiness for you and your families.