Wishing all my family, Jewish friends/followers a shana tova umetukah, a good and sweet year ahead (into next year, the following year and beyond), a year of good health, happy times, peace (for all people across the world), simchas (weddings, bar mitzvahs etc), nachas (events and occasions involving our families and friends which give us a sense of pride), a year of joy and peace of mind…
I hope that the scourge of ignorance, intolerance, selfishness and hatred is weakened and that the world benefits from more understanding, tolerance, selflessness, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, kindness and love.
AND to all my non-Jewish friends, I wish the same for you, for the rest of 2018, for 2019 and beyond…
The Dalai Lama, in his ‘An Introduction to Buddhism’, says:
“…I would like to make it clear that all major religious traditions have the same potential, the same message and goal, by which I mean the genuine wish to bring about better world conditions, a happier world with a more compassionate humanity. This is what all the major religions share.
In order to live harmoniously, we must make a common effort. It is very important to have mutual respect, rather than trying to propagate your own tradition. Therefore I always emphasize that people from different traditions should keep their own faith and not be in a hurry to change their religions….
Despite all the material progress in this and the last century we still experience suffering, especially in relation to mental well-being. In fact, if anything, the complex way of life created by modernisation or globalization is causing new problems and mental unrest. Under these circumstances I feel that the various religious traditions have an important role to play in helping to maintain peace and the spirit of reconciliation and dialogue, and therefore harmony and close contact between them is essential. Whether we are believers and non-believers, whether we hold this or that belief, we must respect all the traditions. That’s very important.
I always tell people in non-Buddhist countries that followers of other religions should maintain their own tradition. To change religion is not easy, and people can get into trouble as a result of confusion, So it is much safer to keep to one’s own tradition, while respecting all religions. I’m Buddhist – sometimes I describe myself as a staunch Buddhist – but, at the same time, I respect and admire the works of other traditions’ figures such as Jesus Christ. Basically, all the religious traditions have made an immense contribution to humanity and continue to do so, and as such are worthy of our respect and admiration…”
Jews, followers of other religions/faiths, believers, non-believers, agnostics, atheists, we are all people, all part of humanity, all one and my hope is that this understanding/realisation will dawn on more and more people in the year(s) ahead…