Typically in this space, we take on the issues of the world, Israel, nation and our own local Jewish communities. Much of the time, those stories are filled with positive messages such as hope and giving and caring. Sometimes, though, the angst of the community gets mentioned here.
This past school year, students, parents, faculty and school administrators spent many an early morning wondering whether or not the frigid temperatures, icy roads and snow was reason to keep schools closed yet another day. Jokingly one rabbi told us that he never saw so much kavanah come from the davening of his students on a day when snow was forecast.
We know that our college-bound seniors worked hard to achieve in their AP classes, SAT and ACT tests. Also we know that many families experienced the pride of seeing their children recently cross the commencement stage while receiving diplomas from grade schools to middle and high schools to university degrees and post-graduate certificates.
On Sunday, June 21, it’s summer. Try and take time off to play with your children at the playground, to enjoy a day trip, to take on an interesting summer class. Or no matter what your age, go outside and take a walk around the block. It is our wish that our Jewish families, campers, camp counselors, our lifeguards and even those who take on a summer job enjoy the beautiful summer that we hope is ahead for us all.
We know that the Three Weeks will begin on July 4, culminating on Tisha B’Av, which begins the evening of July 25 and 26. And those days will always have a lasting impact in our hearts as Jews.
We realize difficult news can happen even during this more relaxed time of year. Last summer, our hearts were broken by the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens by Hamas murderers. We soon would pay close attention to Israel’s Operation Protective Edge and the destruction of tunnels built by Hamas to infuse more terror into Eretz Yisroel. Many of us felt deep connections to Israelis who lost their lives defending the country.
May this year’s tunnel be no deeper than the one your child can dig in the sand. May the news of the summer warm our spirits. May we be good to ourselves, our children and families by taking time to see the beauty in the ocean, the mountains, the floral or vegetable gardens or even that tree that has been shading your house for all of those years. Enjoy and remember these gifts from Hashem.
The cold weather and the hard news will be back soon enough.