Dear readers,

The players sit around the table; the game of Monopoly has begun.

They each take a turn rolling the dice and advancing clockwise around the board. Passing G0, they collect money, funds that will help pay a bill or buy a new property.

One player lands on “Income Tax”, she needs to pay a flat fee or 10% of her total worth; it’s a hard hit. Another, lands on “Free Parking”, a free space where you neither gain nor lose anything. The players progress around the board buying and trading, developing their properties with houses or hotels and collecting rent from opponents.

Uh oh, the player who was winning has landed on “Go to Jail”. The one who has lost his fortune gets a break when he lands on “Chance”. The dice rolls on, creating winners and losers.

The players keep progressing, around and around the board. Forty spaces, twenty-eight properties in total.

Who will win? Who will lose? Who will pay steep penalties? Who will face bankruptcy? Who will monopolize the economy?

Life can sometimes feel like the roll of the Monopoly dice. One person loses his business and his entire life’s savings, just as another lands a lucrative deal. Circumstances change, new turbulences come our way. Just as our troubles are tormenting and drowning us, a turn of good fortune provides a whiff of hope.

But unlike the game of Monopoly, nothing in our lives happens by chance or by the roll of a dice. G‑d is watching us and determining each and every twist of fate.

The High Holidays are now around the corner. The focus of Rosh Hashanah is that we ask G‑d to be our King, realizing that His kingship is the epitome of mercy, goodness and justice. All that will happen in the coming year is now determined.

We say in the High Holiday prayers:

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed - how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire…who by famine and who by thirst, who by upheaval and who by plague...

Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

But Repentance, Prayer, and Charity annul the severe Decree." (Unetanneh Tokef Prayer)

A new year is right around the corner. Promise and hope is in the air.

May we all be written and inscribed for a sweet, happy and good year, full of the blessings that we so desire!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW