A brave new year to…

By Greg Flash

A brave new year to appreciate. We all chalish for the things we can’t have. When we finally exit lockdown, I will savour and be grateful for everything that was restricted.

A brave new year to hug. I remember reading about some doctors that said that the pandemic has changed how people will greet each other in the future.

Some of the more germaphobic noted that they would likely never shake a person’s hand again. I will do the opposite; I will hug more. The lack of human contact with extended family and friends is likely a fundamental cause of mental health problems this year. I yearn for the time when I can again hug people on Shabbos at Shul.

A brave new year to sing together. Singing together on Zoom does not work. I am sure that communal singing was not high on the priority list when the developers designed the platform; after all, how often do you sing in a business meeting? But in a social environment, communal singing is important, think of all the Zoom birthdays you have attended. If you have been to an online Shul service, you will know that you can’t sing together and this is a real shame. I also can’t wait for the next time that I can go to watch the Bokke. Belting out Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika together with tens of thousands of other South Africans will bring tears to my eyes.

A brave new year to do. We have all done a lot of thinking this year. I, for one, have become far more focussed in my work, prioritising tasks and objectives. If this year has been the time of thinking, then the new year must be the time to implement and execute. “Nilmad v’naaseh”, “We will learn and do.”

Shana Tova!

Greg Flash is a husband, father and committed South African Progressive Jew, working in the field of asset management.

Click here to read the other Brave new year to… opinion pieces in this year’s Rosh Hashana theme.

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