Do a mitzvah — buy Israel Bonds

The Book of Life is opened. The period of repentance and reflection is upon us.

Whom did we wrong this year? What could we have done to become a better Jew, a better person? What can we do next year to improve our lot?

Did we do enough for our family and for our community?

Those are just some of the issues that we must consider in the next week.

And yes, the rabbis tell us there is still a limited time to make amends for our actions and to repent for our sins.

In synagogues across the Bay Area we'll be urged to help our fellow Jews, especially in this era of budget cutting. We'll also be asked to help our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Israel Bonds makes its appeal only once every year, during this High Holy Day period. And for good reason. What better time to reflect on our commitment to the Jewish homeland?

Unlike other organizations, Israel Bonds is not asking you to give. It is asking you to invest. When you buy a bond, you get interest and Israel gets to use your principal for needed improvements to its infrastructure — to build new roads, put up playgrounds and facilities for new emigres.

Israel is facing tremendous financial demands in this new era of peace. Security costs have escalated to an all-time high. New highways need to be built to bypass the legal Palestinian enclaves. And a safer Mideast is attracting new industry, putting demands on the government for more services, tax abatements and other assistance.

All that is good. But money must be available to fuel the peace dividend. If government resources are well-utilized now, Israel's economy will only improve dramatically in years to come.

Buying a bond is something you can do to fulfill the Jewish mitzvah of tikkun olam — repairing the world and making it a better place.

And what better time for fulfill that mitzvah than during the holiest days of the Jewish year?

L'Shanah Tovah from all of us at the Jewish Bulletin. May the new year bring you joy and happiness.