“You are (all) standing here today; all of you; in front of Adonai, your G-d.” So begins this week’s parsha, Nitzavim. In chapter 29, verses 9 & 10, Moses reminds us that each one of us, no matter our work, our income, our age, or our level of involvement in the community stands, today and every day, before G-d. Each day we are “here” and must each decide whether to stay here or step forward; to take steps to deepen our relationship with G-d and with community.
We each have the choice, and the chance, to make a difference every single day. Each day we choose whether to strengthen community through our active presence. Each day we choose whether we reach out to help others or walk on by. Each day we choose whether to smile and say “hello” to those we walk past or walk on, totally tuned into ourselves.
We choose to make a difference, or not. What we do with each day of our lives is in our hands. We have the power to make each day “a good one” – in big ways and small – for ourselves, those around us, and our community.
Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best, in Oh The Places You’ll Go! “So. Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray r Modechai Ally Van Allen O’Shea you’re off to great places. TODAY is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!”
Soon we will begin a new day. And before next Shabbat we will begin a new year filled with many new days. My each one of us choose to make each day one in which we have made those around us and across our community just a little bit better.
Prior to her position with the Grinspoon Foundation, Iris served as a synagogue educator in Syracuse NY, the Central New York PJ Library Program Coordinator and as a national consultant for PJ Library.
Iris holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, a master’s degree in Special Education and Reading, and Advanced Certification in School Leadership and Administration. Her experience as a secular educator and educational leader in congregational and community settings spans over 20 years. She is also a lay leader in Jewish organizations on the local and national levels. Iris served as the President of CAJE – the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, which was the largest member organization for Jewish educators in the country.