And so we finish another book. This week we will read the end of Sefer Shemot, and we will begin (at mincha) to read the book of Vayikra. It's an exciting moment. We're always excited to reaffirm our connection with the Torah. We're always excited to say "Chazak, chazak, venitchazek." Be strong, be strong, and we will be stronger. Torah both expresses our strength as a nation and strengthens us for the future to face the many obstacles our world presents us with.
However, this year is different. This year marks the anniversary of the first thing we missed last year. Last year we did not finish the book of Shemot. As we all remember, suddenly our lives changed. We could not finish the things we had started. We couldn't just get on with our lives. We were forced to continue on a different plane, in a far smaller space.
As we continue with the year, as we continue with old experiences which feel new, as we continue to finish what we started, and perhaps to do things a little differently, let's never stop being grateful for all we have. These experience are forever changed. Let's used that change to make us stronger, to make us better. We ought not to dwell constantly on what we didn't do for a year, but let us allow that year to colour our experiences going forward, to make those experiences even deeper and more meaningful than they were before.