A New Year Dawns

Early morning, January 1, 2023

The sun is fighting to break through the haze that delays the dawn of a brand-new year. I am betting on the sun just as I am betting that light will displace the haze that Vickie’s illness and Hurricane Ian have cast over our lives.Yes, a new year is here, and Vickie and I thank God we are alive with a comfortable roof over our heads, sufficient food to nourish our bodies, and – after 48 and a half years of marriage –a deep love for and commitment to one another.

We are also grateful for our three healthy children, their wonderful spouses and nine healthy grandchildren. When we look at the big picture, we see clearly that our cup overflows

Tomorrow, we head back to Tampa for tests, a consultation, and what we hope will be Vickie’s sixth and final chemotherapy treatment. She has fought so hard since her diagnosis in August, and we are cautiously optimistic that her body will remain free of any evidence of cancer.

We also hope and pray that the sun will break through the haze that envelops so much of our world, There is enough sadness to break the heart, but we must not let despair keep us from enjoying the blessings in our lives.  

At the same time, we must not allow the pursuit of our enjoyment to stifle our concern for the world and its woes. In our small way, may we each hope to be an agent of that sun to help dry up some of the plagues that mar our planet:

  • Hunger
  • Homelessness
  • Rampant violence
  • Racial injustice
  • Resurgent antisemitism
  • Illiteracy
  • Environmental ruin

Hillel the Elder taught 2000 years ago, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when” (Pirke Avot 1:14)

When we contemplate the enormity of the world’s problems, the quotation attributed to the Unitarian clergyman, Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909, speaks powerfully to me:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

If we keep both Hillel and Rev. Hales wisdom in mind, I believe – though we won’t finish the job – we can make measurable progress toward healing our world in the year just begun.

6 thoughts on “A New Year Dawns

  1. Sending you and Vickie my best wishes for contentment and GOOD HEALTH this year ! Your quotes remind me of my Bat Mitzvah speech when you were my inspiring teacher and Rabbi. As I recall, the Torah portion I “chose” was Deut. 30:11-20. because it is the Only portion that says,”Choose” .. yet . . part of verse 14 is what’s soooo important in my life, as it is in the Fuch’s lives : …. “But the thing is very close to you, in your mouth, and in your heart to DO IT.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Rabbi Fuchs: Godspeed to you, Wife Vickie and your Children, and Family Members in the newly-birthing year as you recover and transcend …. With Best Wishes, always …. And Wife Vickie will be in my prayers ( ❤ ).


  3. Steve, I didn’t know about V’s cancer. Is it breast cancer or something else? In 2015-2016, I was treated for leukemia. I am thankful now that there is no evidence of it.


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