Rabbi Dr. B. Rosenberg
Rabbi Dr. B. RosenbergINN:RR

It was the great thinker and philosopher, Yogi Berra, who once said: “It’s tough to make predictions – especially about the future.

Yogi is right! Predictions are not easy to make. But one thing I can tell you: it’s our responsibility as citizens of the world to continuously hope for a better future. Our world is filled with prophets of doom, and they are especially to be found in the Jewish world where many who should know better see a dark cloud for the future of American Jewry, European Jewry and the Jews of Israel. The danger is that all of these can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

I have learned over Passover that many of you feel depressed about the world situation and the state of the USA.. Some feel angry with the world. Many are unemployed and too many are seeking someone to love or find someone to love them. My thoughts are especially with those who have health problems.

When down in the dumps I turn to black Holocaust humor and say to myself, that at least I am not in Auschwitz. This has gotten me through many difficult periods. If you are depressed please seek help. This is not the past when people were ashamed to ask for help. Finding one true friend is almost as difficult as the splitting of the Red Sea. If you have a loving spouse, thank G-d. If you are divorced or single go on JDate or any reputable site. Do not sit at home alone. Take a class or join a group of volunteers.

I share this to let you know that you are not alone and there are many people out there in the same situation. If you know of jobs call someone who does not. If you can not find a job, consider starting your own business.

As I write this Join me as we pray and say Tehillim (Psalms) for the people of Ukraine.May Hashem, G-d , protect and guard them and all who live there.

The situation in eastern Europe is grim, grave and alarming.

One of Europe’s military powers has now invaded another European sovereign state. The military action could be the gravest in Europe since the Second World War. It ranks with the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

Russian President Putin’s actions are inexcusable, provocative and part of wider foreign policy in meddling in other sovereign states - in Moldova (Transnistria) and Georgia (Abkhazia & South Ossetia).

In Europe, we have seen centuries of conflict - where one European state invades or attacks another. France and Germany went to war three times in 1870, 1914 and 1939. There have been internal conflicts in Spain in the 1930s, wars in the Balkans in the 1990s and conflict in the UK’s Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Germany’s 1939 invasion of Poland was horrific.

As in previous European conflicts, there will be refugees and displaced people. Ukrainians flee to neighbouring Moldova and Poland. Both countries’ governments are reportedly preparied for this. There are an estimated 5 million people who could become refugees. Ukraine borders 4 EU Schengen countries.

For President Putin, this could be the equivalent of the Soviet Union military action in Afghanistan (1980s) or the US military action in Vietnam. A failed attempt to change Ukraine’s government could end the presidency of Putin - with uncertain consequences. The Chinese response or support for President Putin’s actions could be instrumental.

Yet again, Europe faces uncertain times with another conflict. But at least...you know the rest of the sentence.