As the new year draws closer, we enter into a period of personal and national Cheshbon Hanefesh (spiritual accounting) during an extraordinary time in Jewish history. In response to a traumatic summer of heightened international anti-Semitism and a war for Israel’s existence that seemed never ending, Israeli society experienced an unprecedented level of solidarity and unity.
According to the Zohar, unity is more than a value; it is a vital spiritual and strategic asset for the Jewish People.
The Zohar states that it is forbidden for a person to focus on his or her personal sins on Rosh Hashana. This is why we don’t recite Viduy (confession). The reason for this is that during the Days of Judgment, The Holy One, Blessed be He, looks upon the Jewish People as a single unit that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Therefore, on Rosh Hashana, we emphasize our national mission, and focus less on ourselves as individuals in need of spiritual and moral improvement.
Let’s work together to unite Israeli society. CLICK HERE to support Beit Hillel’s critically important work.
Beit Hillel is about making unity a reality of our daily existence. This is exemplified in all of our programs, but none more so than in our signature initiative, “Shabbat Yisraelit.” We believe that Shabbat has the unique ability to unite diverse segments of Israeli society.
The inaugural program was a huge success last October. 6,000 families (more than 20,000 people) in 50 cities and towns across the country united over Shabbat. The event received wide coverage in traditional media and went viral on social media networks.
Shabbat Yisraelit 5775, which will take place on Parashat Noach (October 24-25) aims to reach tens of thousands more participants. This year, we will be implementing the program with a broad spectrum of partner organizations, secular, traditional, and religious. The program on that Shabbat kicks off what will be a year-round campaign centered around Shabbat. We aim to create a revolution in Israeli society – to transform Shabbat from a day associated with conflict to a day of consensus and common ground. A meaningful day that every Israeli can fill with content according to his or her worldview and values. A day not for commerce, but of Judaism and culture – a day of meaning.
The same is also true of all of our programming, whose goals are to strengthen Judaism and camaraderie in Israeli society. Among these programs are activities that promote positions of spiritual leadership for women; our efforts to transform synagogues into more welcoming places for those who are not frequent worshipers; our work promoting the integration of those with disabilities into our communities; our involvement in the conversion issue; our activities promoting a solution to the Agunah problem; the deliberations of our Batei Midrash for Halacha and Hashkafa, where our halachic rulings and policies are formulated, and which is the source for our acclaimed Torani journals that present our Torah insights positions to the public; and more.
With your generous support, we will draw ever closer to our goal of a united Israeli society. Thank you for your partnership in this important mission!
Warm blessings for a Shana Tova and a Ketiva v’Chatima Tova.