Fred Menachem
Political Commentator

As We Enter High Holy Days, My Heart Longs for Israel

Out of Fear Comes Love, Out of Pain Comes Triumph, Out of Darkness Comes Light

Jews praying at the Western Wall
Jews praying at the Western Wall

As we embark on the High Holy Days and Jews around the world join together in prayer to begin the repenting process, we review our entire year and ask God to forgive our transgressions. We contemplate the future and the actions that we must take in order to continue our evolvement as Jews and as human beings. On Yom Kippur in our Jewish tradition, many of us will fast, depriving ourselves of daily pleasures, demonstrating the extent of our regret for past misdeeds, honoring our ancestors and solidifying our devotion to God.

As I look to the year ahead, I choose to focus on actionable change that will conceivably lead me on a path towards marriage, family and children of my own, passing on to them our proud history of Jewish thought, learning and tradition. I will renew my lifelong commitment to continuing the crucial work that gives me great purpose in order to fulfill my obligation as a Jew and as a human being, making a positive impact and a difference in the world and for my fellow man and woman.

A friend of mine went to the Kinneret last week, in the Sea of Galilee, for a spiritual cleansing of both her head and soul the days before Rosh Hashanah and our Days of Awe. Like her, I’m on my own journey and while this has been a particularly challenging year for me, it’s also been one of deep contemplation and growth. My personal story of spiritual renewal is not unlike the history of our people, out of fear comes love, out of pain comes triumph and out of darkness comes light. While I’m not religious, I long to spend time with my Israeli community and to learn lessons from the holy books that have been passed down to Jews from generation after generation

Like many Diaspora Jews, I dream of our four holiest cities that have been part of our history for thousands of years, swimming in the waters of Tiberias, experiencing the intensity and fire of Jerusalem, breathing the magical air of Safed and walking through the dust and dirt of Hebron as our ancestors, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah did thousands of years ago. While I’m a proud American, on this Yom Kippur, my heart and soul are with my people, culminating with my upcoming return to the Jewish state of Israel, our ancestral homeland.

It’s in that spirit that I wish Jews around the world, an easy fast and G’mar Chatimah Tovah. May you be forgiven for your transgressions, may you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life and may we all meet, ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’.

About the Author
Fred Menachem is a political commentator who currently works in the cyber security industry. During the 2016 Presidential election, He was a member of the POLITICO Caucus, made up of the United States most recognized political insiders, Formerly a political strategist, fundraiser, Host and Executive Producer of the Gray Zone Radio Show (Bloomberg Radio Network) and Chief Booker for i24 News in Tel Aviv and NYC. He is a citizen of both Israel and the United States, currently living in the US.
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