The Chief Rabbi and Minister of Innovation, Research and Development Reb Mordechai Linhart delivered the following message to the Jewish community of Lostisland ahead of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).
To the holy Jewish community of Lostisland:
Tomorrow evening, at sundown, Jews around the world will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This last year has been filled with many challenges, the main one being the world health crisis due to COVID-19. What we can take away, from this still ongoing crisis, is that we are all responsible for one another. The Torah, in Leviticus, teaches us the following: “THOU SHALT LOVE THY FELLOW MAN AS THYSELF”. One of our great Torah sages, Rabbi Akiba said about this pasuk: “This is a fundamental principle of the Torah” (Sifra, Kedoshim, Chapter 4 12; Talmud Yerushalmi Nedarim 9:3).
Through this health crisis, we have learned how our actions, whether we want it or not, can and will impact our fellow men. At the same time, caring for others in a time where many have been and still are homebound, is a fundamental responsibility of any developed society. As such, this great crisis that we have been living through for many months has also brought out the best of people. More charitable acts, than ever, have been performed by people to help those of our society, who are weak and vulnerable.
This Rosh Hashanah will be very different from the ones of years gone! Some of us Jews will be under lockdown and worship with their families at home, and some others will daven in small minyanim (quorums of 10 men) following strict guidelines of the country in which they live. I would like to stress, at this point, that it is the duty of every Jewish citizen to follow the rules set by the country in which they reside, as not to cause any sort of Chillul Hashem! This year, more than ever, I demand the members of the community to especially be mindful and pray with Kavanah (concentrate) as we pray: “Our Father, Our King, exterminate pestilence, sword, famine, captivity, destruction, iniquity and eradication from the members of your covenant”, “Our Father, our King, withhold the plague from us.” And “Our Father, Our King, tear up the evil decree of our verdict”, as to arouse the mercy of Heaven to bring a swift end to the mageifah, which has already taken so many of our brothers and sister.
May we all, in the merit of our good deeds and prayers, see the upcoming year being one of only good news to the whole world! May we merit to see the building of the Beis Hamikdosh (Holy Temple) and end of this terrible galut (exile). Wishing the whole Lostislandic kehila a happy, sweet, and kosher new year.
Reb Mordechai Linhart