Shana Tova! Happy New Year. I enter this season with wary optimism and somber reflection on the past year and what awaits. I am proud of all Yachad has accomplished, particularly under the difficult circumstances of the last year and a half. Even so, it is important that we go out of our way to see all that remains to be done, b’Yachad (together).
To see is the operative word. During Rosh Hashanah, the new year holiday we recently observed, we read two stories on the theme of “seeing.”
First, there is the story of Sarah and Abraham and their actions to cast Hagar and her son Ishmael into the wilderness with no food and water. God hears Hagar’s cries and opens her eyes. She sees a well of water lets the boy drink. Hagar names God, The God who “sees.” The second story is about about Abraham’s failure to see the lamb caught in the thicket until the very last moment as he prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac. God opens Abraham’s eyes, and Abraham sees the lamb and sacrifices it instead. Rabbi Shai Held refers to this as God “regarding the un-regarded.”1 God opened Hagar’s and Abraham’s eyes and it was lifesaving.
Yachad’s work is eye-opening, and certainly life-altering, too.