The following is an important message from Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner, Hazzan Jesse Holzer and Rabbi Shira Rosenblum of the Jacksonville Jewish Center:
While we always live with life’s fragility, we are more acutely aware of its uncertainty during these Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe. The Unetaneh Tokef prayer, recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, poignantly reminds us that some are taken by fire, some by water; some reach a full allotment of years and some do not.
Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction through our state, taking lives and destroying property. As evidenced by the heartbreaking images from Fort Myers and its environs, some communities will take years to recover. Having strengthened once again over the ocean, Ian will cause additional devastation to neighboring states over the next few days.
Here in Jacksonville, however, we were largely spared. Whatever damage occurred pales in comparison to the destruction suffered by our neighbors to the south and west of us. With humility in the face of the natural forces over which human beings exert no control, we are keenly aware it could have been us. We thank G-d for being spared . . . and we sorrow for those who were not so fortunate.
The great sage Maimonides teaches it is especially appropriate to increase acts of righteousness at this time of year. We do so not because we simply want to get into G-d’s good graces; rather, the performance of ma’asim tovim, good deeds, serves as a down-payment on our commitment to being kinder and better people in the New Year.
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has started a relief campaign to assist our fellow Floridians in recovery efforts. As part of the effort, the Jewish Federation & Foundation of Northeast Florida will have additional information over the coming days about ways in which we can alleviate the suffering of our neighbors. To learn more about the JFNA campaign, please use this link JFNA Hurricane Ian Recovery Campaign. Over the course of Shabbat Shuvah, this Sabbath of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, let us reflect on lessons from the storm and how we might apply them to our own lives in the days ahead.
Rabbi Shira Rosenblum (L), Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner and Hazzan Jessee Holzer (R) are the spirutal and Rabbinic leadership of the Jacksonville Jewish Jenter. Learn more about the Jacksonville Jewish Center and its active Men’s Club at: https://www.jaxjewishcenter.org/engage/mens-club/ or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleJewishCenter/.
This moment of Jewish solidarity is brought to you by the Florida Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. We serve the needs of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods throughout the State of Florida. If you are not yet affiliated with the Federation, then today is the day to join us.
Get to know more about the FJMC Florida Region and our growing statewide network of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods at www.floridaregionfjmc.org and please visit and LIKE our Florida Region FJMC Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/FloridaRegionFJMC.