Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Rosh Hashannah - 5781

THE LIGHT IS AHEAD!

Nothing about the past few months has been normal.  Fear, anxiety and worry are the result of a challenge we all face.  Yet, we must remember that as Torah Jews we are all about endurance.

We have the merit of having in our community very special people, who survived the darkness of the Shoah.  I believe that we can all turn to them for inspiration and encouragement and see them as guides through the gloom towards the great light of the coming future.

The Yamim Noraim are a time we come together in prayer and song.  This year, prayer will clearly be elevated.  We have a lot to ask from our King.  Song, however, will be placed on hold, since safety is our primary concern.

Another noticeable change to our service will be the abridgment of the Tefillah.

Over the past one thousand years, many magnificent poems were added to the Yamim Noraim service.  All of them were added to remind and inspire us what the day and season are about.  All of them are important and will remain as part of our Tefillot in future years.  This year, with a desire to minimize our time together, we will be omitting almost all of them.  In other words, the repetition of the Amidah will be almost identical to the silent Amidah.  The only differences will be the Unetaneh Tokef section in Mussaf, the Kedusha and the Shofar sounds on day two of Rosh Hashanah.  (On Yom Kippur, in Musaf, we will be reading the High Priest Service as well.)

The Talmud notes that the Holy One, Blessed be He, seeks the heart.  This year, our Teffilot come from a heart that desires a future of security, where we can service the One Above with commitment and happiness.

May we see salvation faster than the blink of the eye!

On behalf of Miriam, the family, and myself, I would like to wish everyone a good, secure and healthy year.

Shana Tova