Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Year in Review

As we about to enter the year 5783 I want to reflect a bit on the year we are leaving. This is the third year in a row we are under the cloud of COVID. That’s the bad news. The good news is that even though there is still concern about getting seriously ill from that disease, that danger has been significantly reduced. All the subvariants of the COVID virus thus far seem to be milder than the original. And there are in general far fewer cases than before. 

Additionally we have effective treatments for those who get it. Most of whom get a very mild case  when they do. That means that we can pretty much go back to life the way it was before COVID albeit with some significant changes resulting from the experiences from that period. 

But all is not good. The world is a changed place. The economies of most democracies are in shambles - the US included. Inflation effects us all. Prices of many goods and services have doubled (or more than doubled) since before the pandemic with no end in sight. The Federal Reserve is trying desperately to curb inflation with substantial raises in the prime interest rate every quarter. They are not succeeding. Demand is still high causing increased pressure on higher prices. I do not see inflation being tamed without a recession. At this point that is the only way to bring prices down or at least stop them from rising so quickly. 

The state of the world is not that great either. Where nuclear war was once unthinkable even during the height of  cold war between the FSU and the US - when both of us had nuclear missiles pointed at each other, today President of Russia in a bid to take over the Ukraine and incorporate it into his country he has threatened to use nuclear weapons if he can't get it trough conventional warfare. Putin has already proven he does not bluff. Nor is conventional warfare working for him.

On a domestic level our political leaders and representatives have never been so polarized. The left and right are further apart than ever. The prospect  of compromise where legislation for the good of the nation can be passed has never been more remote. The party in power will have their way to the great chagrin of the opposition. I see nothing good coming out of that. I am not a fan of either party right now.  

Meanwhile God is having His way with the world with climate change. Those who deny it are either not paying attention or are delusional. I just don’t think there is anything we can do about it. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. But I think it might be too late.

The world of Jewry has seen an increase of antisemitism by both the right and the left. The Israeli political situation isn’t faring much better than it is here. The world of Orthodoxy still has not seen an end to sexual abuse, problems with young people going OTD,  dating issues, Shalom Bayis issues leading to divorce. and assuring that a good religious and secular educational curriculum be available in all segments of Orthodox  Judaism... just to name a few of the many issues still plaguing us.

In short we are in a mess both domestically, worldwide and in our own Jewish world. 

My personal life this year has been a mixed bag but mostly good. First the bad. I had a nasty bicycle accident where another rider crashed into my bike while I was riding at a relatively high speed. She knocked me off the bike and I hit the ground pretty hard injuring my hip. Thank God nothing broke. But I was in a lot of pain for about a month and could only get around with a cane. Then Just as I was beginning to heal and get off of my cane, my older brother Jack passed away sending me into Aveilus for a month. 

On the plus side,  I met 2 new great grandchildren over Pesach and I attended my granddaughter’s wedding this month. Both of these events were highlights of my life.

At age 75 I am healthy  (to the best of my knowledge). Thanks to a good set of genes, a daily exercise schedule, and not overeating I am physically fit.  The same holds true for my wife, children, and grandchildren. For this I am eternally grateful to God - Who is ultimately responsible for my good fortune. I take nothing for granted. Which is in part what Rosh Hashana is about..

We have a lot to pray for this Rosh Hashanah. For ourselves individually, for our families, for our people and for the rest of the world. 

With this I want to wish all of my readers, commentators, and all of Klal Yisroel a Kesiva v’Chasima Tova.  May 5783 be a year filed with peace, and a happy, healthy and prosperous year for all.