Last night I attended the opening reception for Great Neck’s newly renovated Library. As you would imagine, the reception was attended by local officials and library supporters (financial and otherwise) as well as by members of the general community. The evening included an impressive musical performance, a brief history of the library and then a reception replete with champagne and hors d’oeuvres.
I know there was a sense of euphoria last night. From community bond issues to all the minute details about how the library would function during construction; the renovation was an agonizingly slow process. It was a pleasure to walk through a new building and to celebrate this new beginning. Now that the moment of euphoria is over, the Library will hopefully continue to be a central resource for Great Neck and environs.
New beginnings convey a sense of euphoria, excitement, and promise. Yet, new beginnings are of short duration. What follows a new beginning generally determines whether or not the excitement and the promise are sustained.
With this Shabbat we begin the cycle of Torah reading from the beginning: The story of creation. In reading the Creation Story a sense of euphoria overcomes us. There is a feeling of hope and promise as we begin again with a fresh world: A world still unblemished and free of anger, pain, disappointment, cynicism, disillusionment, duplicity and hubris. We see the hope of a
new world; a world which has not yet encountered racism, poverty, hatred or ignorance. We therefore read the Creation Story as an uplifting moment in our lives; mindful that we have a new opportunity to make straight that which has been crooked. We welcome this new opportunity as both individuals and as a community; pledging to do better this time around.
May it only be so….