Shana Tova

Elul, the Jewish month which is about to come to a close, is a time of looking backwards. Our Jewish tradition recognizes the value of taking a pause from our busy, forward-looking lives to turn around and take stock of what has already happened. The spirit of the time we are in and which we are about to enter during the High Holidays is one of reflection — of attempting to come to terms with the past, and, based on that understanding, committing to change our actions in the future. Just as this season encourages us to do, the hundreds of interviews in the American Jewish Peace Archive provide a fertile resource for us to look back at the history of American Jewish peace activism, helping us find direction for the path we might take into the future.

The spirit of forgiveness is also with us in this time; one of the primary activities of the month of Elul is forgiving each other. It is taught in the Mishnah (Yoma 8:9) that atoning on Yom Kippur for wrongs that you did to other people does not elicit any forgiveness from God; only people have the power to forgive each other for these wrongs. The AJPA facilitates the process of forgiveness between generations of activists across the span of 50 years. This understanding is the first step of forgiveness and moving forward together. Through hearing the stories of different generations, we can understand how each has done their best within the context of the time.

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7 thoughts on “Shana Tova

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