Andy Walton looks at whether there is a "Religious Right" emerging in Britain
Credo: Three resolutions for the new year
31st December 2011
Jonathan Sacks | The Times
‘Some people don’t pray because they try it and it does not work. They forget that prayer is done best in the company of others’
An old Jewish story: Mendel meets David. He says, “Tell me, friend, how is life? I haven’t got much time, so tell me in one word.” David says, “In one word? Good.” Mendel says, “Give me a bit more detail. In two words, how is life?” David replies: “In two words? Not good.”
That was 2011. It may be true for 2012. As a nation, we’re wealthier and healthier, but the economic outlook is uncertain and much of the world is troubled, if not in turmoil.
What would be some Jewish advice for the coming year? First, thank God. Jews call this Barukh Hashem, “Blessed be the Lord.” In the shtetls, where Jews were poor and persecuted but deeply religious, if you asked: “How is business? the answer would come back: Barukh Hashem. How is the family? Barukh Hashem. Your health? Barukh Hashem.
You might be ill, your children rebellious, your business terrible, but you thanked God. Jews knew how to rejoice in the midst of hardship. They laughed, they celebrated, they had the gift of simchah, the Jewish word for joy. They were not fools. They knew their fate was wretched. But they felt close to God. After all, he prayed in the same synagogue that they did.
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