Happy Holidays (and my end-of-year thoughts)

My Judaism hasn’t stopped me from embracing the ideals and emotions of the Christmas season–love of family, giving to those less fortunate, the time to reflect upon the year. And, as I think many other teachers would agree, the week off from school doesn’t hurt, either.

But this Christmas tastes sour. During a time of year when we ought to be celebrating the best of humanity, we have been left to question and comprehend the very worst. The events in Newtown left us dazed, grievously wounded yet looking forward, acutely aware of a horrifying truth: this could happen again.

Yet we will rebound. Each day since the attacks I’ve seen remarkable resolve: we recognize more than ever that there is so much work to be done. Though most of us will spend today celebrating the season with family and friends, parts of us are in Newtown, in Egypt, in Syria. How do we actually effect change in our stubborn political system, one might ask? When we allow our compassion and empathy to trump our self interest, just as we are seeing now. That, if nothing else, is good reason for optimism.

Our hearts are heavy, but they are full; our eyes are wet, but they are bright. I wish all of you a happy holiday season and a sweet new year. Be well.

Jacob

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