L'Shanah Tovah 5768
"Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, commemorating the creation of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. On Rosh Hashana, the Books of Life and Death are open on the heavenly desk. On this "Day of Judgment," we each stand before God and offer our best case for being "created anew" -- i.e. granted another year of life." Rabbi Shraga Simmons
My sister Judy forwarded me an email commentary on the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. It's being going around so much nobody seems to know who originally wrote it.
Doesn't matter. It's more than a little "political." But it's true. It's relevant, especially coming so close to 9/11 this year. And it's from the heart.
We are about to begin our 5768th year on this earth! Who would have believed this possible? If anyone had told Abraham that his people would be around this long he probably would have been astounded.
Imagine, we did this without beheading anyone on TV, without a single suicide bomber, without kidnapping and murdering school children, without slaughtering Olympic athletes, and without flying airplanes into skyscrapers.
We lasted this long despite 400 years as slaves in Egypt, 40 years of wandering in the desert, the mighty Roman army who nailed us to ten thousand crosses; despite the best efforts of fervent Crusaders, the Spanish Inquisition, Hitler's third Reich, Stalin's gulags, Arab wars of annihilation and 100 years of hateful terrorism, hundreds of hate-filled UN resolutions.
How did we Jews do it? We survived by concentrating our efforts on education, love of family, faith, hard work, helping one another and a passionate dedication to life no matter what evil befell us.
We hung in there in hope the rest of the world would one day overcome it's hatreds, jealousies, violence and join us in a life of cooperation and mutual respect. We're not there yet, but we're still hopeful. And when so many of us enter our places of worship next weekend, this is what we'll pray for with all the strength in our hearts.
Best wishes for a New Year filled with health, happiness, laughter, success, joy, and kindness and may this coming year bring peace and security to Israel, to the Jewish communities in the Diaspora and to our planet. 5768 and counting.
If you're Jewish and can't get to a synagogue tonight, you can hear the Shofar anyway: Symbolism of the Shofar - High Holidays with Aish.