Rosh Hashana is coming this upcoming Sunday night till Tuesday night. Rosh Hashana means the beginning of the year. It is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar and most Jews in …
Rosh Hashana is coming this upcoming Sunday night till Tuesday night. Rosh Hashana means the beginning of the year. It is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar and most Jews in the entire world join the prayers, including many who don’t join all year.
It is the beginning of the year and according to Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism) the year comes down condensed at first in these two days and then the light spreads out to the other days of the year. This needs more explanation, but I’ll leave it for another time. I’m just mentioning it to bring out the pivotal moments these days are for the entire year.
A lot of the prayers are dedicated to asking Hashem, the Creator of the world, to bring us a good year.
Now, if we are going to ask for a good new year, then first it’s important to reflect on the previous year, and more importantly, to express gratitude for the previous year. When a child appreciates a gift, the parents are much more excited to give another one. The creatures, and especially the ones who are able to contemplate, are children of the Creator. We are His “Brainchild”.
Once upon a time, the modern world looked at gratitude as something archaic. Why should I be happy with 50% if I don’t have 100% of what I want? Or, some would argue, if you are happy with 50% you won’t go out and try to reach 100%.
Today, this is old school thinking. So many scientifically proven research has shown how living in gratitude is a different life. It gives meaning, fulfillment, and even more, the physical pleasures itself get enhanced by being grateful for having them.
Many CEOs and thought leaders start their day with expressing thanks and meditating on what good they have in life. Many spend half an hour or more every day doing so. They say that it changes their day entirely. If it hadn’t, they wouldn’t have done it, of course.
Now, to be grateful in general for what a person has is one level. To be grateful to G-d, the Creator of the entire world, is an entirely different level. The gratitude has a target, you are grateful to a being, and to the being who actually makes everything happen.
To be grateful to the Creator makes a person realize that his or her own very existence is not random and not by chance. G-d wants you to exist and wants you to enjoy the existence and to enjoy His world. When we focus on the good, we enjoy our lives much more, and that’s precisely what G-d wants us to do.
So, as we approach Rosh Hashana and we will dip the apple in honey and lick our lips after eating the sweet foods, let’s think about the sweet moments of the past year, the sweet people we have in our lives, and the sweet places we live in. We can focus on the wonders of our body and of our environment, and we can also focus on the smaller things, our clothing, electricity and technology, wonderful local newspaper, colorful food, and much more.
A transforming way to bring in the New Year can be to take upon ourselves to dedicate 3 minutes a day on gratitude. It’s worthwhile to make it a habit while doing a daily routine – sipping coffee, getting dressed, etc. We can be creative about it, by thinking every few days of something new, something different to be grateful for.
May it be a sweet New Year to you and to everyone and may we all dip in its sweetness and feel it!
Moshe Unger writes a column in the Democrat every other week and can be reached at: email@example.com
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