Rosh Hashanah – More than just a New Year
Throughout the year, the Jewish calendar is filled with Holidays commemorating key historic spiritual and physical milestones in Jewish history. Passover recalls our flight from Egypt, Shavuot receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai, Purim the saving of the Jewish nation. One might wonder as Rosh Hashanah approaches, what happening, what key event in Jewish history the Days of Awe celebrate?
The Talmud tells us that Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of, not the first day of creation, but rather the sixth, the day of creation that brought us Adam -- Mankind. It is poignant that it does not celebrate the creation of the physical world, which actually occurred five days earlier.
Mystical thought explains why the focus on people rather than the world on these holiest of Days. G-d created the world not to have static, lifeless planetary matter but rather a dynamic changeable world whose material crassness could be transformed into a dwelling place for Him -- by the actions, thoughts and words of people. To change the world for good into a place where G-d and G-dliness is welcome.
Furthermore, our sages teach us that the reason Adam/Man was created a single being (unlike other species which were created in large numbers) was to demonstrate how one person equals a whole world. Every individual regardless of personal status has the capacity to rise and attain the highest degree of fulfillment for his/her self and the rest of the world.
So when Rosh Hashanah arrives, we commit ourselves to a more intense bond with G-d, to a more meaningful and deeper relationship with Him. We don’t need a specific event to be the focus of Rosh Hashanah, for the holiday commemorates the very purpose for which we are here. To petition G-d and accept His role as King, through our commitment to being proper subjects, to putting aside the "I" in favor of "G-d."
Jews the world over this Rosh Hashanah will be "convening" in our own special way to nominate G-d for another year-long term. With simple acts of devotion, goodness and kindness and belief in His ultimate rulership, on our Holiday, and during the entire year, we issue our vote of confidence in the Creator and in return receive another year of life, blessings and the opportunity to draw ever closer to Him.
I am looking forward to greeting each and every one of you at all of our services or any service that you are able to attend.
May we all merit to be written and sealed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy and meaningful year.