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Rosh Hashana: One Request

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Rosh Hashana 5778

Dear Rabbi: If I were to focus on one thing on Rosh Hashana, what do you suggest it should be? (signed)

Why limit it to one thing? But since you ask, be aware that King David used that exact term, in the special Psalm (27) which we recite during these days: “Achas sho’alti” – “one thing I have asked of the Lord, this I seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of the Lord, and to visit His Sanctuary.”

What does that mean in relevant, contemporary terms?

Beyond all the complexity of life, beyond all our jaded experiences, beyond all the clutter and noise, we each have within our souls a very quiet place – a soft and gentle voice. This is who you are at your purest core. This is what you looked like when you were a newborn child.

And this is the place we return to every Rosh Hashana, when we celebrate the collective birthday of the human race. On this day 5778 years ago, a Divine breath, for the very first time, infused life into a pile of dust from the earth, creating the human being. We are part dust, part spirit – a body and a soul.

On this day each year we return to our origins: Not the dust part, but the spirit – the dimensions that makes us uniquely human.

And what does this spirit look and feel like? It is the part in you that has not been polluted by life experiences.

This is the one thing David asked for. “I seek,” he declared, “that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of the Lord, and to visit His Sanctuary.”

In a hostile world, with many trials and tribulations, I seek a pure and peaceful place – to dwell in, to behold and to visit.

Even today when the Holy Temple no longer stands, we each still have within our hearts and souls a pure place that houses the Divine, where we can dwell and find comfort; a beautiful core whose pleasantness we can behold; an inner sanctum which we can regularly visit.

If you are looking to define one thing to focus on Rosh Hashana, ask yourself:

What do you seek?

Sadly most of us are distracted with the struggle for survival, the pursuit of material needs, the immediate challenges that each of us face. Rosh Hashana, especially during the Shofar blowing (this year on Sunday), put all that aside.

As we solemnly recite the verses in preparation for the Shofar blowing, allow the words to carry you away on their wings.

As the haunting Shofar begins to sound, imagine that this the simple cry of your soul, reaching out, yearning, beckoning.

Close your eyes. Take your mind, heart and presence to another place – to who you truly are beneath it all: “achas sho’alti” – seek out the single most important thing of all – your essence.

If you were to ask for one thing, “achas sho’alti,” ask for this: That your core purity should surface. That you should have the ability to dwell in and be embraced by its warm arms, all the day of your life. That you should sense with awe and behold its beauty. And that you should visit even the dimensions that transcend your soul.

*

May you be blessed with a healthy, wholesome, loving and inspiring year, with success in all your endeavors and on all levels, materially and spiritually.

May you see all your experiences as stepping-stones to reach greater horizons. May you only have joy and happiness, and even in moments of uncertainty, may you learn to grow greater through them.

May you have the ability to swim the waters, but always remain above the waves.

On behalf of myself and the wonderful staff of the Meaningful Life Center, I wish you many warm blessings for the New Year.

Photo by Mike Boening Photography/Flickr.

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Deborah Witkin South Africa

Thank you for the inspiration , the blessings , and the joy of your presence in my life through the medium of your written word and social media.
Blessings to you Rabbi for Rosh Hashanah

Richard

Rabbi…you and your staff are a true blessing! What more can I add to the commentaries? Thank you for all your work and may our species gravitate toward a more holy, ethical and contructive life! …A meaningful life…. Shabbat Shalom and L’Shana Tova!

Simcha Rachel

Dear Rabbi Jacobson,
Thank you for all your beautiful teachings. You truly inspire us all to grow and receive with the right intention. Your words are soothing to the soul and uplift our inner vision toward Hashem. Thank you for all you do on behalf of the community of Israel and beyond. May you and your family be blessed “BH” with a L’Shanah Tovah.

Wanda

Thank you again for your wonderful words of wisdom and blessings. May Hashem continue to abundantly bless you and yours, and all at Meaningful life Center for a beautiful year and beyond.

Rabbi you have touched and blessed many lives with your wisdom, especially mine and I am so grateful to have found you.

Abundant Blessings Always

Dear Rabbi

I wish you from deep of my hearth the same and also

MAY THESE BLESSINGS COME TO YOU AND TO ALL OF YOUR DEAR ONES AND TO ALL OF OUR PEOPLE,
I ENJOY YOUR WRITINGS TREMENDOUSLY- I FREQUENTLY GIVE THE BOOK -TOWARDS A MEANINGFUL LIFE -IT ALWAYS SOOTHES , HEALS AND ILLUMINATES.PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR WONDERFUL WORK WITH JOY AND IN GOOD HEALTH

Amen to your blessings and may Hashem reward you and amplify these blessings to you, your family, your dear ones, the staff of Meaningful Life and all our jewish fellows.This is year I have prepared myself to Rosh Hashana more than any other year, a lot thanks to your words and your book 60 days. I am sure that this greatly contributed in making this Rosh Hashanah even more special and meaningful than the previous ones especially during the blowing of the Shofar. Thank you for helping me and showing me tools to reconnect. This year, may we be everyday… Read more »

Jonathan

Rabbi, thank you for your insight and inspiration. Thank you for the blessing i really appreciate it.

FRancine Daniels

AMEN TO YOUR BLESSING.
MAY THESE BLESSINGS COME TO YOU AND TO ALL OF YOUR DEAR ONES AND TO ALL OF OUR PEOPLE,
I ENJOY YOUR WRITINGS TREMENDOUSLY- I FREQUENTLY GIVE THE BOOK -TOWARDS A MEANINGFUL LIFE -IT ALWAYS SOOTHES , HEALS AND ILLUMINATES.PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR WONDERFUL WORK WITH JOY AND IN GOOD HEALTH

tzilia sacharow

Dear Reb Simon,

You make it sound so simple to get beyond the distractions and worries of everyday life, to go beyond the barriers weve created through the aveirot we are ashamed of, and to be embraced by that inner aspect that is really part of HsShem Himself. But how does one quiet all those hectic demanding voices or those nasty whispers of you are not worthy?
Bvracha
Tzilia from Yerushalayim

patricia leff
rivka malka

Thank you SImon, you put into words just what Ive been feeling. Living in that pure space is the only way we can be fully Alive. Thank you for all the light that youre bringing to the world. Kesiva vchasima tova, Rivka Malka

I gratefully receive that blessing and ask that you and the staff be doubly blessed.

As I age and see the end more so than the beginning my desires have become less tangible and more eternal. I desire things that feed my soul more than the body. Things that are attainable and not corruptible.

To dwell in the presence of the Almighty, to be sheltered by Him, to worship at His feet.
For me that is enough for all my eternities.

Thank you for being obedient to your heavenly calling.

Well done.

Pat Grossman

So beautiful. Happy New Year.

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