What's Going On?
Other cultures celebrate the New Year with good food and celebration, and we pray for hours?! What's going on here?
It's because of the dazzling Kabbalistic power of Speech.
On Rosh Hashana, G-d created the world through Speech.
Our words too, bear this magical power of being able to form and create.What you say is what will happen. Whether you say you can or you say you can't, you're right! Kaballah says it simply: Words create!
Today, lovers separate the minute the 'feelings of love' dissipate. If you're having a hard time feeling love towards someone you want to love, say loving words. Uttering the words 'I love you' actually causes those feelings to follow suit.
Because words create.
High Holiday Prayers aren't about asking G-d for 'stuff'. G-d doesn't want us to beg. Look closely at the words and you will find a rich tapestry of deep truths:
Themes of joy, redemption, forgiveness and renewal. Themes so powerful, so life changing , they need to be repeated throughout the High Holidays, so that they become second nature and truly liberate us from the failings of our past and allow us to soar, reinvented, into the New Year!
Actually, Jews pray daily for the same reason. Each day brings new challenges and struggles that the verbal affirmations of prayer negate and overcome with their power to change reality.
The Hagaddah (which actually means 'storytelling') is based on the verbalized gratitude of the Jews in this week's Torah portion upon presenting their first fruits as gifts to G-d. Their feelings of gratitude to G-d were not enough. They were commanded to verbalize their thanks.
Grateful words, lead to happier people. Four letter curse words, not good.
So when you're in Shul, don't just read the words, actually say them.
When you're out of Shul, mind your words carefully, because what you say has real power!
Wishing you a Healthy and Sweet new Year,
Rabbi Sholom & Rivka Galperin