Letter From Rabbi Mark
August 22, 2017
Holy members of Har Mishpacha and the Steamboat Springs Jewish Community,
It has been quite a year, this past year of 5777. As individuals, as a local community. and as American Jews, we have seen some tremendous highs and some anxiety-inducing lows.
Events across the nation and even in Steamboat have raised some of the old fears and anxieties about being a religious minority in America – anxieties that we have not felt to this degree in quite some time. Yet at the same time, our congregation was welcomed into the new space at the United Methodist Church with tremendous generosity and kindness by their members. At the same time as we were emotionally displaced from our comfort zones, we were simultaneously drawn closer by our friends and neighbors.
Now is the time, more than any other time in recent years, for us to come together as a Jewish community. When any one of us feels unsettled or anxious, it is the collective strength of all of us together that will uplift and bring comfort. By being together in anxious times, we can fulfill the words that we say collectively when we reach the end of each book of the Torah: chazak chazak v’nitchazek. Be strong, be strong, and we all will be stronger together.
As we come together in community and in prayer for the High Holidays of 5778, we look forward to a year of blessing and prosperity, of community and strength, and most of all, a year blessed with peace. Come stand with us for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Add your strength to ours, for we need each and every person’s voice and soul. And that collective strength will, in turn, strengthen each and every one of us.
L’Shalom (In Peace),
Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman