• Daniel Rosenbaum

Kol Nidrei Appeal 5781 - "all of Israel sitting together in a single sukkah?"

Dear congregants - members, family, friends and visitors,

We find ourselves in a most peculiar and traumatic year. It was also a year in which despite forced distances we have come closer than ever. We have taken care of one another, practised kindness, and thus have merited to come together now for our holiest of days.

Our ancient texts teach us that on Yom Kippur the whole world is judged and sealed for the coming year. We are one of very few jewish communities worldwide privileged to come together for services. With strict COVID-19 regulations in Israel and the United States, and thankfully less so in Auckland now, our own community has a great zechut (privilege) and achrayut (responsibility) to daven not only for ourselves, but for the world-entire.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks poses an incredibly powerful idea. In parashat Ha’azinu Moshe rebukes Israel saying do not blame God when things go wrong. Don’t believe, he says, that God is there to serve us. We are here to serve Him and through Him be a blessing to the world. God is straight; it is we who are complex and self-deceiving. God is not there to relieve us of responsibility. It is God who is calling us to responsibility. Responsibility is the legacy of Judaism.