With the world suddenly on fire and nation turning against nation, Rosh Hashanah could not have come at a better time.
Because Rosh Hashanah – the day the world was created – is the New Year for the entire world. Not only Jews.
The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created on Rosh Hashanah, and they are the grandparents of all humanity.
So why is it that only the Jews celebrate it?
Only the Jews count time (not from the beginning of their religion but) from the beginning of all the world’s creation. Why? What universal message does Rosh Hashanah hold for us Jews and for the entire world?
The answer lies in one of the most controversial episodes of the Torah – the Akeidah, the “Binding of Isaac” – which took place on Rosh Hashanah and about which we read today.
What was God thinking? What was Abraham thinking? What should we be thinking? Especially considering the latest string of brutal murders perpetrated by terrorists in the name of God.
The answer is:
We are here not to slaughter but to elevate. We are here to change the world for the better. We are here to create a New Year, a new energy, a new narrative.
This is the ultimate human offering. As captured in an incredibly moving story – the interpretation of Avinu Malkeinu offered by a Holocaust survivor to Rabbi Itzikel of Antwerp.
And it contains the secret of achieving world peace.