Shalom. September 2008 and we stand again at the brink of a new year. So many possibilities are before us. This promises to be, in the USA, a year of great change. One of the major issues for those who are concerned about issues related to aging is that of health care. Candidates have trumpeted that “reform” or “change” is in the air. All seem to agree that, as the first wave of our generation (baby boomers) approaches the Medicare eligible age of 65, something needs to be done. This month we highlight a new grass roots organization that is attempting to develop an inter-faith response to the challenge of health care reform. It looks to look at the issue not from a political perspective, but a moral and religious one. We’ve included information on Faithful Reform In Health Care” (www.faithfulreform.org) in the Programs and Resources section. Also, we are including the panel presentation that I gave at the Islamic Society of North America convention, held last month in Columbus. That presentation overviewed briefly the Jewish approach to health care reform.
The rabbis, as many of you know, loved to play with letters and words to derive meaning. As we begin the year 5769, we can take a hopeful message from the Hebrew letter that stands for the number 9. The tet begins the word tov, which means good. The first time the letter appears in the Torah, is in Genesis 1:4, describing that first day of creation. Thus, a simple wish and prayer, that this New Year is for us and for our families and for the world a year of goodness.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min