Salvation, Redemption Are Reasons For Holidays - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Salvation, Redemption Are Reasons For Holidays

December 5th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Salvation, Redemption Are Reasons For Holidays

By Rabbi Irwin Wiener

Guest Writer

If our lives have been blessed, the way to say “thank you” is with responsible conduct. Additionally, this season gives us the opportunity to display the goodness that can be found in each of us.

All too often we see only the dark side of people and neglect to remember the nobleness of a single human being. We get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday living and never stop to smell the roses.

There is such a mess in the world right now. There is poverty on a scale unimagined just a few short years ago. There is disease and with all our expertise and previous accomplishments, we can’t seem to find enough vaccines to inoculate us from certain disasters.

There is war; an ongoing conflict between good and evil that leaves us wondering if politically correct is a substitute for awareness and prevention.

There is hunger and homelessness, in a country that feeds the world and provides shelter to millions in different areas of the globe, but somehow we can’t find enough shelters or time to create those needed shelters for our people right here in America.

There are presently 100,000 homeless veterans – people we sent off to war to protect our lives and values – and yet when they return we turn our backs on them.

All of this sounds like a formula for despair. We listen and read and watch these and other horrors and wonder whether there is redemption and salvation.

But then we remember the blessings we have been given and realize that “thank you” is not enough.

We must be willing to conduct ourselves in such a way as to not only develop cures, but also to encourage each other to act in accordance with our understanding of responsibility in lifting someone from the depths of despondency to a brighter tomorrow.

This time of the year that includes Hanukkah and Christmas can give us a feeling of Grace and compassion.

When we die and appear to answer for our lives, God will not ask “Did you believe in me?” but “How have you dealt with those around you?”

To truly be thankful requires not only taking responsibility for our actions and deeds but also how we treat each other in the process.

We don’t expect to eliminate the wrongs that permeate our world, but we are not excused from trying. That is what faith demands of us – that is what society requires of us.

The season of lights reminds us to not only take responsibility with good intentions, but to be sincere in the effort. We need to follow through in helping those in need.

When we feast to the fullest – leave a little on our plate to remind us that we MUST care for one another not just in words but also in deeds.

Salvation and redemption – these are the two words that make up the reason for these holidays. Say thanks not only for what we have been given but also for the gift of giving.

And in the words of Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Rabbi Dr. Irwin Wiener, DD is national chaplain of Jewish War Veterans-USA and he is the spiritual leader of Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation.