We had been planning an hour of optimism for the Jewish Care Community. The announcement of extended COVID lockdown orders in Melbourne prohibiting extended family gatherings during Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) told us we all need it now!
In this very interactive workshop, Victor Perton and friends including Jenny Boymal, Norin Mosley and Ros Ben-Moshe will present on the Why and How of Optimism and how to remain infectiously optimistic during this COVID lockdowned New Year! We'll ask you to share your case for optimism.
Some Thought Starters
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein said “To be a Jew is to be an optimist.”
"Judaism must be said to be fundamentally optimistic" (Optimism and Pessimism by Joseph Jacobs and Emil G. Hirsch in The Jewish Encyclopedia (1906))
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin said "Jews are optimists with worried faces."
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson said, "You must follow the command of the Tzemach Tzedek to “think optimistically, and things will turn out well.”
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites. said, Judaism "anticipates redemption, tikkun olam, a human reality that has no evil, just goodness.By anticipating redemption, we develop a tremendous drive to advance the process. This drive is what pushes humanity forward. It is what causes people to give of their time and of their money for the betterment of others whom they do not know and from whom they would not gain anything. This drive cannot grow in apathetic ground. It cannot exist in people who do not feel optimistic about a better future."
Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran wrote, "Contrary to the cynic and pessimist, the optimist has the truer perspective on Judaism. The “glass half full” shows us the power of that period from Rosh Chodesh Elul through the conclusion of the Days of Awe, Shmini Atzeret. When we open up our siddurim, we discover the most optimistic of all Psalms, selected specifically for this awesome period – Psalm 27. The Midrash teaches that the words L’Dovid HaShem Ori, the Lord is my life, refer to Rosh Hashanah while v’yishi, and aid, reflects on Yom Kippur. Ki yitzpeneni b’suko, He will hide me within His tabernacle, speaks of Sukkot. A quick glance through the psalm is enough to find all the words that conjure up hope, optimism, happiness and strength. Begin with the first posuk and go through the chapter: light, aid, stronghold, not fear, confident, desire, dwell in the house of the Lord, pleasantness, shelter, safe, high, sing, chant, gracious, seek you My presence, help, care, teach, guide, land of the living, hope, strong, brave. Fourteen short verses. Twenty – four optimistic words and phrases."