Since the beginning of the secular New Year, our country has seen a great deal of turmoil. The U.S. is fraught with devastation, loss, anger and grief as we add deep civil unrest to a worldwide pandemic.
I talked about closure during my final sermon to the congregation. Now, as I wish you farewell, I’m reminded that Judaism’s method of saying “goodbye” requires some examination.
The term “goodbye” itself dates to the early modern period (occurring during the late 16th century) stemming from the expression, “God be with you”.
Although we can accept the “God” part, this is not a Jewish traditional farewell. The common term for goodbye in modern Hebrew (as I frequently heard during my year in Israel) is l’hitra’ot, meaning, “see you later.”