Rosh Hashanah: New Year 5763


As we commemorate the first anniversary of September 11th, there are no better words to define the events of the past year than the Rosh Hashana prayer: Hayom Harat Olam – Today the world trembles. Today the world is born.

Today the world trembles – and tremble it did. Physically and psychologically. And the trembling didn’t subside on that fateful Tuesday morning one year ago. This past year was one that shook not only our landmarks – symbols of both our economic might in lower Manhattan and our national security in the Pentagon – but also our economic infrastructure, with the exposure of a corporate world not to be trusted. Who would have imagined that in just one year so many of our ‘reliable’ systems would be upset, that the world would so radically change – and so suddenly, without warning.

America is experiencing only the tip of our present day iceberg tremors. Israel and the Middle East remain the hotbed of global turmoil – as it has been since the beginning of history.

And the trembles continue. We are no more certain today than we were one year ago. Does anyone feel more secure today? Has anything changed on the geo-political front or the economic one?

But, today the world is also born. These tremors are the precursor of a new world. All birthings are preceded by trembling pangs and spasms, trembles that shake up the old and make way for the new.

What will this new world look like? Again Rosh Hashana provides us with the answer. By going back to the beginning we can see the future. By studying the roots we can see the fruits. Rosh Hashana is described in the prayer as ‘zeh hayom techilas maasecho,’ ‘this is the day which is the beginning of Your work.’

In the beginning, all of creation recognized the ‘hand inside the glove’ and was aware that material existence on its own is but a ‘matrix,’ a surface experience that masks the forces within. Every Rosh Hashana we are called upon to declare to ourselves and the universe our cognizance of the Divine energy which lies within and is the essence of all that exists. “May everything that has been made know that You have made it; everything that has been created understand that You have created it; and everyone who has the breath of life in his nostrils declare the prominence of G-d and His dominion over all.”

Every year on this day we renew our contract with G-d, with the universe and with destiny; we rededicate ourselves to reveal the inner unity within everything around us  —

“v’yaasu kulam agudah achas laasos retzoncho b’leivov sholom,’ ‘they will all form a single unit to carry out Your will with a complete heart.’

And then we are asked to translate the declaration into action. Introduce, reveal, expose the true essence of all creation. Imbue your every act with higher purpose. Infuse your every move with spiritual direction. Instill in your every breath the awareness of your soul which is but the breath of G-d.

This is the mission with which we are charged. And today more than ever – as the existing world trembles – we have the power and opportunity to birth a new reality, one where all peoples, religions, nations, corporations recognize the true inner force that makes it all happen.

The only permanent solution to misguided religious passions that breed wanton terrorists is to humbly accept the sovereignty of G-d and the sanctity of life with which each human being is Divinely endowed.

The only true remedy to greed and corruption, to establish trust between buyer and seller, between owner and worker – to hold onto moral values even as we pursue individual interests – is to connect to the eternal and the absolute, to an unwavering sense of justice and virtue.

As this year winds down and we prepare ourselves for a new dawn – actually the new moon of Rosh Hashana – I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your kind blessings and warm wishes. In the spirit of G-d’s words to Abraham, “those that bless you will be blessed,” you will surely be blessed in all ways.

I also thank you for supporting our work – financially and morally. I am honored to partner with you in our vital work, and look forward to an even stronger relationship as we go to the next exciting stage of our work (which you will hear about soon). May G-d’s promise be fulfilled in you: One who gives charity will become wealthy.

In addition to all the above, I would like to extend my blessing and prayer to you, my dear friend and reader:

May this New Year bring you revealed blessings, for success in all your endeavors, material and spiritual.

May you experience only joy and happiness – you, your family and friends. If any trembles do come your way, may you immediately and painlessly see how they lead you to a new birthing.

May you find your soul mate, and have the courage and the commitment to open yourself up when your soul mate is sent your way. Those of you that have already found your soul mate, may you find him/her anew – and build a wholesome home and family, one that will illuminate all those that enter your home and the environment around you.

May you be blessed with health, strength and direction to use your unique gifts to make an indelible positive mark on the world – to realize your potential and actualize your indispensable contribution to the universe.

May you be blessed with all that you need, even the needs that you are unaware of.

May you be blessed with revealing the Divine in all the things that you do, and in bringing a smile to another.

May we all be blessed with a year of love, peace and finally ushering in a time where peace and unity will prevail, between all people and all races.

On Rosh Hashana, when nations are judged and their destinies determined, “which for war and which for peace,” may we usher in with peace the birth of a new world order, devoid of violence and war, when nations will “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more,” because it will be a world “filled with Divine knowledge as the waters cover the sea.”

Blessings of ketivah v’chatima tovah, l’shana tovah u’metukah, b’gashmius u’bruchnius.


Simon Jacobson


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