Our Job on Rosh Hashanah
Job on Rosh Hashanah
you will return unto G-d and listen to his voice, according to everything that I
commanded you today, you and your children, with all your heart and all your
soul” (Deut. Ch.30 v.2).
verse is referring to the commandment of teshuva—returning to G-d (although
many people translate teshuva as repentance, such a translation is not quite
the framework of the Jewish calendar, there are special times for the Jewish
people. The month which precedes the Jewish new year, Elul, followed by Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is the time of year when we attempt to return to
question we must first ask ourselves is the order of the calendar. Why do we
celebrate the new year, then apologize for our sins? Would it not make more
sense to first apologize for our sins, then enter the new year with a clean
slate, ready to accept upon ourselves all sorts of new year’s resolutions?
someone wants to make a resolution, he is in effect trying to start anew. In
order for a person to do this, he must first understand why he needs a fresh start. That is what Rosh Hashanah is all about:
why a person should follow the Torah, and why a person needs to have a
relationship with G-d.
role on Rosh Hashanah is to crown G-d as King. G-d does not want his
relationship with the Jewish people to be that of a despot; rather, He prefers
that of a King. When we pray to G-d and praise Him, we are not doing it for Him,
but rather for ourselves, in order for us to understand who G-d is. When we do
so, it builds within us a desire to get close to Him.
is an awesome responsibility we have, of “crowning” G-d. It puts the weight
of success or failure for civilization upon us, which is exactly what it is
meant to do.
years ago, G-d created Adam and Eve so that through man’s positive use of free
will he would be able to perfect the world. Every person has the potential
within him to make a difference in the world. The first step in this process is
developing a relationship with G-d and thus knowing how exactly this perfection
of the world takes place. That is our job on Rosh Hashanah.
we are such a level that we understand what our relationship with G-d is, then
we are able to truly apologize for any which way we may have injured our
relationship with Him. Next week we will discuss how this process continues on