Dear UULMNJ Family,
The fifteen-foot sign on the front of Macy’s flagship store says “Believe.” It doesn’t indicate what we should believe, just believe. Perhaps it is in response to the season, but despite the commercialism, the sign does make me pause and reflect. One belief I hold most dear is that our role as people of faith is to be a positive force in the world, and that this role is intrinsic to our being. It doesn’t matter what religion we profess. I believe human beings are inherently wired to do good. The endorphins released when we commit an act of kindness is a good indication of our true human nature.
Sometimes believing in the goodness of human beings is hard. Looking over the past year, there are too many episodes of violence, cruelty and human depravity, too many mongers of hate and cynicism. Our deepest doubts and fears are fed every time we read the paper or hear a newscast. Sometimes it is hard to believe in the goodness of people. But I can’t stop believing.
Everyday, I am filled with hope. Everyday, I am surrounded by people who manifest their goodness through actions designed to benefit perfect strangers. Everyday, I see people so moved by their compassion that they give tirelessly to bring about a little change. Everyday, I see people carve a little time out of their overly complicated and committed lives, to move our society a little closer toward a more just world. This is because everyday, I get to work with you, our UULMNJ community. And I believe.
Your generosity fills my heart with awe, wonder, and gratitude. I am in awe of our collective capabilities. I wonder what our world will look like for tomorrow’s generation because of our work today. And most of all, I am grateful for the goodness of your human spirit. Thank you for your gifts.
May your New Year be filled with all that the season inspires. May you be in awe of what good people can accomplish together. May you be filled with the human capacity to love. And above all, may you always, always believe.
Rev. Craig Hirshberg
Executive Director, UULMNJ