Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Rosh Hashannah - 5779

JOY OF HASHEM IS OUR STRENGTH   

Welcome to the "Day of Judgment.”  From a young age we were taught about the significance and gravity of this day.  Over the years, the teaching of the Talmud regarding the three books that are opened on Rosh Hashanah (One of wholly wicked people, one of wholly righteous people and one of middling people, whose good and bad deeds are equally balanced) has jolted our consciousness.

However, the most important piece of information that we must keep in mind is that if we become disheartened, we achieve nothing.

After our ancestors returned from the Babylonian exile and began examining their own actions on the Day of Judgment, they began to despair.  Their leader Nehemiah made it clear to them that with all the seriousness of the day, the Torah wants you to: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is holy to Hashem.  Do not grieve, for the joy of Hashem is your strength.”

Rosh Hashanah is a CHAG, a time to celebrate our values and tradition with pride and confidence.  A successful Rosh Hashanah, and High Holiday season, is one that balances happiness and awareness. Ignoring the awesomeness of the period is a misfortune.  However, living through it without optimism and confidence is tragic.  Let us all utilize these wonderful days of closeness to Hashem with a commitment to our nation and our tradition, and, thus merit a year of blessings and happiness.

Miriam, the children and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Kehillah a Shana Tova.  May we all merit a year of physical and spiritual blessing and growth.