Listening to the news these days can certainly unsettle a soul. So many crises facing us from the ever-shifting pandemic to climate intensification, political unrest and economic precariousness. As we sit on the cusp of another New Year one might wonder, how do we properly usher in and celebrate when there is so much weighing on our hearts and minds?
We teach our children Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, and yet according to the teaching of the Maggid of Mezeritch, Levi Yitzhak, the Holy Day liturgy says hayom harat olam, “This day the world is conceived.” And it is from this idea that we can find the deepest inspiration amid the chaos of the world as we enter 5782. Today we conceive what we want the world to be. It is the hope and possibility found in that space between what is and what can be that we are able to find our greatest inspiration. The Holy Day cycle itself is the path to this discovery.
Rosh Hashanah, bringing room for Hittbodedut and Heshbon HaNefesh, inner contemplation and assessment of what is working and where repair must take place for things to improve. Yom Kippur’s work of Teshuvah, Tefillah and Tzedakah, the sincere attempt to turn things around, praying for the strength, the resolve, to do better and putting the plan into action.
When Sukkot arrives it’s time to breathe deeply and move forward with our individual plan into that renewed sense of purpose. Walking into the world, with all of its beauty and capriciousness, but with faith in the possibility of what you can do to make a difference today.
The traditions and practices of the Holy Day season with all of the intensity, purpose and passion brings with it the greatest encouragement of all. The knowledge that each of us matters, and that we have the ability to manifest our dreams for a world redeemed, a world of peace.
Alexandria Shuval-Weiner is senior rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah, president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association and co-chair of Rabbis Reflection Circle Shamayim & Jewish Veg.
- rosh hashanah
- Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner
- temple beth tikvah
- Atlanta Rabbinical Association
- Rabbis Reflection Circle Shamayim & Jewish Veg
- climate intensification
- political unrest
- economic precariousness
- New Year
- birthday of the world
- Maggid of Mezeritch
- Levi Yitzhak
- Holy Day
- Heshbon HaNefesh
- Yom Kippur