A Special Message to All Our Jewish Classmates,
Other Friends and Family Members for the

High Holy Days:

This year, once again, we proudly present an inspirational Rosh Hashanah message consisting of excerpts selected from a recent article by Rabbi Benjamin Blech (who spent over 37 years in our little town), this one published online September 6, 2022.

In his typically practical style, Rabbi Blech brings to mind a spiritual perspective as he reflects upon the meaning and purpose of our High Holy days. Read on:


"Leo Tolstoy came to the same conclusion. “Everyone thinks of changing the world,” he wrote, “but no one thinks of changing himself.” And so the world continues with its myriad flaws, everyone complaining about the common sins of others while paying very little attention to themselves.

"Most people want to change the world to improve their lives, but the world they need to change first is the one inside themselves.

"There is a movement today that has taken the concept a step further into practice. It concerns itself not with the really large issues, issues which realistically most of us will be unable to influence, but with the smaller daily interactions which in fact define everyday life. It’s called “small acts of kindness” and I love it precisely because its demands are so easy and yet, if universally practiced, would really change our lives.

"The suggestions are simple, Choose one or a dozen:

  • Give a genuine compliment to somebody at least once a day.
  • Write down what you appreciate about another family member and pass it along.
  • Check in with someone who’s sick.
  • Ask if you can help someone who may be having a difficult time in life right now.
  • Lend your vehicle to take someone without one shopping for their necessities.
  • Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  • Make a card for someone special.
  • Deliver flowers anonymously to a hospital patient.
  • Ask a senior citizen about their life story and truly listen.
  • Give a hug to a loved one or friend.
  • Offer to pay another person’s food bill.
  • Lend a hand to someone doing hard work.
  • Donate to a homeless person, perhaps give them some food.
  • Leave a kind server a generous tip.
  • Let a person out from a side road who’s waiting to get into the main road.
  • Help another parent out with a stroller or carrying things.
  • Give someone a book that you no longer need.
  • Give your parents or grandparents a call just because.
  • Volunteer at a community event.

"Grandiose plans are great – but we rarely do them. Impressive ideas for changing the world are, yes, impressive but frequently impractical and unrealizable. So perhaps this year before Rosh Hashanah we could scale down our ambitions and think small – and in that way change ourselves and our own world."

This is a revisit and slight rewrite of an article by Rabbi Blech entitled "Elul: How to Realistically Change the World" originally published online by Aish HaTorah International with excerpts on this site in 2019. (See the full text of this article at https://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/small-actions-can-change-the-world/2022/09/06/).

Rabbi Benjamin Blech is Rabbi Emeritus of Young Israel of Oceanside, which he founded in our little town and actively served for 37 years, He is also a world renowned Torah scholar who, since 1966, has been Professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University in New York City. Rabbi Blech is an educator, religious leader and lecturer, and he is a prolific author of several hundred articles and 19 highly acclaimed books with combined sales of over a half million copies, one of which, Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, was chosen by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations as “the single best book on Judaism in our generation.” Another book by Rabbi Blech, The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican, was the subject of a special edition of 20/20 on ABC-TV in 2008. In a national survey by Jews Week, Rabbi Blech was ranked #16 among the most influential Jews in America. He is also featured in the latest book by our friend, now retired OHS teacher, Richie Woods, Legendary Locals of Oceanside.. 


My wife, Sue, and I would like to take this opportunity 
to wish all of you and all of your loved ones a
and may you all be well and inscribed in the Book of Life.

and Shalom,
and if you will be fasting,
have an easy one.

To hear the sound of the shofar again, click here.




Return to the Class Newsletter, TM
or to the Home Page