This year, Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, and the International Day of Peace both come to pass today, Sept. 21. Rosh Hashanah actually began at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 20, concluding today and marking the start of the Jewish New Year. “Shanah tova” or “have a sweet new year” is the greeting people give each other.

An eight-day period of reflection and repentance will follow, ending with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year.

How serendipitous then, for all of us to use today, a day of joy, for reflection as well.

Each day we hear of strife and misery here and around the world. It can sometimes be too much to fathom. Our response tells much about us.

On one hand, so many of us have given generously to help those so seriously harmed by the recent, massive hurricanes to strike the Caribbean Islands and southern United States. On the other, many have turned their backs on victims of oppression who turn to the international community for help. We turn a blind eye to the many indignities, great and small, suffered by the less fortunate here and elsewhere.

There is little one person can do to relieve the suffering that spreads across our planet. But peace begins within our hearts and is passed along to our children and our neighbors by our own example.

The theme for the 2017 International Day of Peace is Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.

The Jewish High Holydays are a fitting time for us to come together to denounce religious, ethnic, racial, gender, and economic hatred against others of any group.

That would bring hope for a sweet new year for everyone.