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Yom Kippur: The difference between hope and ‘good’ hope

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What’s the difference between hope and ‘good’ hope? Surely all hope is good?

In our prayers at this time of the year, we say to Hashem ‘Uvechein tein kavod Hashem L’amecha’ – ‘Almighty God, Give respect and honour to your people’. ‘Tehilla lirei’echa’ –‘praise to those who revere you’. ‘v’tikva tova l’doroshecha’ – ‘and good hope to all those who seek you’.

I would like to suggest an example of good hope. In the concluding verse of Psalm 27, which we recite during this holiday period, we start with the words ‘kaveh el-Hashem’ – ‘have hope in Hashem’ and at the end of the verse again, ‘vekaveh el-Hashem’ – ‘have hope in Hashem’.

And what is in between? ‘Chazak veyameitz libecha’ – ‘you must be strong and of good courage’.

Good hope is what we do, accompanying our faith in the Almighty. When we say ‘kaveh El-Hashem’, it’s an example of ‘bitachon’, our trust in the Almighty.

However, we need to see ourselves as partners of Hashem. In addition to praying for his assistance, we need to be courageous, we need to engage in the necessary action, to take ourselves and others forward constructively.

So, as we now approach the holy day of Yom Kippur, we pray to Hashem for His assistance and at the same time, let us fulfil our aspirations and our resolutions for the New Year, in order that we will indeed be His veritable partners, to guarantee that with good hope, we will be blessed with a happy, peaceful and wonderful New Year.

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