Rosh Hashannah 2012: beginning the evening of Sunday, September 16.
Rosh Hashannah, on God’s calendar, is the anniversary of Adam’s creation. This is a day to re-affirm our commitment to stewardship of God’s plan on the earth. Jews believe that through our stepping up to this divine call, the universe can reach its full potential.
To this end, we want to be those who are working Life rather than death in the earth. We want to be written in God’s Book of Life! On this day, and during the ten days to follow, we admit our wrongs and commit to change bad patterns in our lives; we spend more time talking to God directly and openly; we extend ourselves to others, and we give of ourselves to fill their need. The following is a series of reflections on the major elements of the traditional Rosh Hashannah service.
On Rosh Hashannah we do three things:
We recognize God’s Kingship: We proclaim God as King in our lives. We re-commit to our moral purpose: the purpose God has created us for. We declare that we share God’s Kingdom vision for the world, and we take on our roles as His faithful servants of that vision. We know that the greater our commitment is to His purposes, the greater God’s commitment is to granting our potential in fulfilling our destiny.
We remember: we acknowledge God’s all-knowing of our lives and hearts, and we remember that He responds to both our selfishness, and our commitment to Him. We accept God’s moral scrutiny, and we celebrate it as an expression of His love for us, and for the world. Because we matter so much, He winnows our lives, and only because of His love He gives us the grace to walk with Him. We ask that God will remember us in His love, and bring us fully into our Divine destiny.
We blow the shofar: as the shofar is blown we recognize that God is counting us in His presence, and evaluating our lives in the time of the trumpet blast. In this moment all living things pass before Him like sheep before the shepherd. The shofar is a wake-up call: our life is passing by quickly, and we don’t want to live it as one asleep. Wake up! Life is not a dress rehearsal! Live a life that will make a difference! The shofar blast is also a reminder that our lives are a continuation of the line of God’s people in the earth, dating from Adam; continuing through Abraham; redeemed through the line of Jesus; reaching down through the ages by the lives of believing men and women; all the way down to us. We have the potential in this moment to respond to the call of God on our lives, and make the difference for a hurting world. If not now, When? The shofar blast also speaks to us of the future: when the trumpet shall shout, and Jesus will return to usher in His Kingdom reign, a new era for all of the earth.
Rosh Hashannah stands in God’s calendar to remind us that we have a call on our lives, and it is our responsibility to choose what destiny we will follow. It is a reminder that we have a Divine destiny, and it is a portal into an increased blessing and provision for that destiny to be fulfilled. It is a reminder that we are so loved by God that He wants us to find Him, and step up to our Divine calling. But most importantly, it’s a reminder that life is most beautiful when we’re living our lives in God, and pursuing our divine purpose in the earth.
Rosh Hashannah 2012: beginning the evening of Sunday, September 16!
A big thank-you to Rabbi Avraham Goldhar for this one — goldharschool.com