A Rosh Hashana Greeting from the Rabbi
The Sages teach that there is one true measure of man: How much "fear of Heaven" he has. This is the measuring-rod of a person's connection to reality.
What is this fear of Heaven? Look to all the diverse aspects of your life -- your personality, environment, knowledge and experiences. Even though every situation contains a different struggle, both in degree and kind, that's only superficially. In actuality, deep inside there's one point, one sensation that's all the same. This is what we call "fear of Heaven." It's the one point that -- regardless of where your particular struggles lie -- determines whether you're fighting or not.
The Sages say: "Everything is in the hands of Heaven, except for fear of Heaven." How do you work on fear of Heaven and acquire more of it? This is what Rosh Hashana is all about -- determining what it is you're living for and driving it home again and again and again. Energizing yourself and giving yourself more and more desire to fight and win, becoming more confident that you will win, building on the small victories. It's the basic commitment to fight and win, with no thought of surrender, whether the issue is part of your nature, or something beat into you by your environment and society.
If you've got the energy, you can take on anyone and anything. On Rosh Hashana you develop the energy by making God your King. It's a commitment to fight. It's joining the army, but with a difference: it's all one-to-one combat, for each of us has our own battles. That's the one point you have to work on during Rosh Hashana. Then you must apply it to the particular issues you identify with in preparation for Yom Kippur.
On behalf of Rivka and the Kids I want to Wish you and your family a Shana Tova, a healthy and Happy sweet new year!