Chaverim Yakarim —dear friends

 2018 is coming to its end, and while we traditionally use the High Holy Days to look back, I’d like to invite you to  do so, one more time. 2018 came with hopes, hopes for freedom, success and growth—some became true, but we also have to carry forward some of them to the next year, too.

2018 brought with it many small and big changes: on a political level, for the Shul and in our private lives. It is not a platitude to say that life is full of changes, and that changes in general are important to move on, but once again, for most of them, we will see only in 2019, how much they will have impacted our lives, and whether they came for the better or the worse. 2018 broke several times our hearts—when we had to say good-bye to wonderful life companions, when crime and hate challenged us, and when we have witnessed that suffering has not diminished, but
increased the last 12 month.

We also have shed tears of joy—seeing our children growing up, new children born into this world, new love emerging out of hopelessness, and friendship growing into strong bonds of solidarity. These moments of happiness, warmth and triumph are the ones we should take with us, when we enter 2019.

2019 will be again a year with ups and downs,  tears of joy and sadness, changes, challenges, growth and hopes, and it is my wish for all that 2019 will be little bit better, a little bit more joyful, and that you we will have the chance to realise one or two more dreams.

May God bless you all—Happy 2019—Rabbi Adrian M Schell