Hold Fiercely to Hope

September 20, 2023

By Idit Klein

The week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur always feels like a transcendent time for me: the final days for reflection, accountability, and healing, and the first days of a new year. These days offer a sense that anything is possible; an openness to radical hope. 

Queer Jews know well the power of radical hope. It has animated our resistance and resilience for generations. And so, too, today.

At Rosh Hashanah services last week, I was struck by a drash, a textual interpretation, offered by Leah Carnow, the rabbinic intern at my shul, Temple Beth Zion. 

Leah posed: what if Abraham’s willingness to obey God’s commandments and sacrifice the lives of his own children were not tests of faith after all? She urges us to consider that these acts were not “a manifestation of blind faith… [but] an expression of hope that God will keep their covenant.” 

As I look at our broken country and fractured world, I hold fiercely to hope. Hope that decency and dignity will prevail. Hope that we will anchor our lives with caring and empathy. Hope that this year we will choose to honor our collective covenant to see one another’s humanity. 

May you and your loved ones be inscribed for good and may hope fuel our actions for a better world. 

G’Mar Chatima Tova.