Monthly Archives: October 2016

L’Shanah Tovah! Rosh Hashanah 5777

Rosh Hashonah 5777

I sit here, at 3:03PM, on the East Coast of North America, asked not  to not forget a Rosh Hashonah message. OY!

I’m quite tired. Usually, I don’t do any work after 3:30, so this gives me an actual

26 minutes (leaving me a minute leeway), to dash off something before I shut down for a Big and Extended Shabbat.

Rosh Hashonah is a curious holiday, to me, because it is not the actual New Years date, in the Bible, which comes in the month of Nisan, springtime.

It makes far more intuitive, and certainly, more natural sense— to have one’s New Year, i.e. NEWNESS, beginning when seedlings begin to poke their little faces up from the ground, and new, new, new . . . . begins to sprout up.

And yet, Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish (not Hebrew) holiday, was fixed at the sound of the Shofar, mentioned in Leviticus.

It was actually turned, curiously, into the New Year not of natural renewal, but the renewal of human civilization.

After all, it is only upon the harvest of the previous year, that can one actually reflect, and change the directionality of the next year. You see, we human beings are not merely natural creatures, but super-natural creatures. (You will know that, if you’ve been reading some of the Universal Judaism publications on the website.) We can consciously reflect upon ourselves, and consciously choose to renew. We need not do that only seasonally, but every day of the year. And indeed, it is incumbent upon us as Jews to do so every day, if not every moment of the year, and all years.

Nonetheless, the “harvest” of human activities, super-natural that they in part are, is a different renewal, requiring a different state of consciousness than the merely natural.

So, the 29th of Elul through the 2nd of Tevet, makes very good sense. It is the harvest of human activities, and also with nature together, i.e. defining not merely the natural, but the covenantal natural, in which human activity and Divine Activity through nature on earth, are conjoined, in harmony, i.e. GOODNESS.

This is therefore, the time of year, that we begin to reflect upon ourselves, but in Universal Judaism, we concentrate on the GOODNESS of what we have created.

I find it rather disturbing that Rosh Hashonah has been twisted to be preparatory for self-affliction, and for purging, which is Yom Kippur’s specialty. But, Rosh Hashonah, I think, should be a holiday of examining our achievements, the goodness we have created, so we can ever-remind ourselves of the enormous blessings that are ours.

In this sense, we are reminded by the Rabbis, that this is considered the Day of Creation, marking the Creativity of the Creator! Indeed, can we, as human being be creative, if there is no Creativity to begin with, built-into the design of this world, if not all worlds?

So, this year, as I approach my cut-off point, insistent, of course, that I do not wear myself down, before Shabbat, let us all take stock on Rosh Hashonah not of our impending-repentant sins, but of our great, great, accomplishments. Look at them with delight. Look at them with awe, that you— yes you— were designed with the spiritual capacity to actually make such accomplishments ACTUAL.

Amazing. Truly. A free-willed creature!!! Amazing. You are.

Me too.

We all are.

Blessings to all. It would be good to hear from you!!

And although it is highly doubtful that God is up in heaven writing you down in a book, for good or bad, a bit too much like Santa—- nonetheless . . .

May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and worthy Life, this year!

R’ Shevack