I recall thinking at the end of 1999 that after the two catastrophic world wars and various genocides of the 19th century, a new era was about to dawn. I truly believed that we were seeing a profound movement toward world peace and an improved atmosphere for all mankind.
I hate to sound negative, but now that we have lived through this first decade of the 21st century, I must admit the sad truth that I was wrong.
Many of the remarkable and over-arching events of the past 10 years have been negative in nature. America is presently embroiled in two wars, the Middle East is as far from comprehensive peace as ever, Islamic radicalism threatens our freedoms on a daily basis, and nuclear confrontation is once again a real and present danger thanks to Iran’s blatant contempt of the international community.
In light of these challenges, my advice to make this new year (and new decade) prosperous is very simple: We must never give up hope. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, the most important character trait for a person is an optimistic belief in a better tomorrow.
Our best chance at making our dreams into realities is to always stay positive and strive for justice.
As I write these words in the final days of 2009, I once again express my sincere conviction and complete faith that this coming decade will truly bring world peace, harmony and brotherly love among all of God’s children.
This time, I will be right!
Chabad of Glendale and the Foothills
For me, the most memorable experience would probably have to be the day of Sept. 11, 2001.