Hang in and Keep Smiling – it's contagious!!

Presented by Rabbi Anchelle Perl
Mineola, New York

Why do we see so many smiles at this time of the year? Have you ever wondered why there is that twinkle in the eye of the man in the corner? The springy step of the lady at the deli? The elfish grin of little children as they peep at visitors who unexpectedly drop in?

Could it be that the man on the corner has just decided that he isn’t in such a big hurry to attend his meeting after all, because he’ll have a holiday coming shortly? Could it be that the steps of the lady at the deli are springy because she just decided on the perfect gift for her son? Could the children be hoping each visitor has come with a new toy for them?

Why do we see so many smiles around this time of the year? Could it be the big project is nearing completion? Or the parking garage has more vacant slots? Or the stores are finally putting on sale, the very thing on your spouse’s wish list?

Well, whatever your smile, I can tell you what generates mine. It has been a great year because of your hard work and creativity. You are a bright, innovative group of wonderful Jewish men & women that gives it all, every day of the year.

The origins of our feelings and celebrations at this time of the year are religious. But these feelings do not have to stop at our door….Why am I smiling? Is it too far-fetched to believe that the High Holy Days, with its many mitzvoth we perform could spread month to month, until throughout the year we would share the same smiles, same warmth and same spirit of Yiddishkeit for every day of this coming year?

Here is another reason why can resolve to keep smiling into the New Year. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson launched a grassroots uprising against the exile. He proposed that each and very Jew consider it his or her personal responsibility to bring about the redemption, through increasing our acts of goodness and kindness!!

Instead of relying on the rabbis and saints to bring Moashiach we all must roll up our sleeves and do our share. As Maimonides (Laws of Teshuvah 3:4) states: “One should always view the good and evil in himself and this world as if in perfect balance. Should he perform one mitzvah he will tip the scales in favor of the good and bring salvation and deliverance to himself and the entire world.”

May G‑d bless us and keep us and shower the blessings of a very happy and healthy New Year both physically & spiritually.