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Rosh Hashanah

5760 As we are approaching the holiday of Rosh HaShanna most of us should be asking ourselves what is really going on here. Why are grown up people making such a big production of such a childish act as blowing the shofar, nstead of having a wise Rabbi do something unique like sing a beautiful song, explain a difficult Torah passage, reveal a mystical secret etc.
5761 Try to remember the first time you ever heard the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah? There are millions of Jews throughout the world that cannot. They never heard the Shofar in their lives. In fact they do not know that they are Jewish … or they simply don’t care. But the Baal Shem Tov taught in a parable that every Jew, without exception, feels the same strange awakening when he hears the Shofar, (he just has to know that it is something Jewish).
5763 In a few days will be the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShanna. Jews all over the world will be filling synagogues praying and listening to the Shofar and then after that, a week later, fasting for a full day in Yom Kippur 'The day of Forgiveness'.
5764 On Rosh HaShanna the Jewish people celebrate the (last day of the) creation of the world (when G-d made man). Interestingly, there is no other religion, people or nation that knows, or even cares when the world was created and certainly none that celebrate it.
5765 The common factor between this week's section 'Ha'azinu' and the upcoming holiday of Rosh HaShanna is...Moshiach. Parshat Ha'azinu begins : "Remember the days of yore, contemplate the coming generations"(32:7) and ends: "Behold, gentiles, G-d's people etc." (32:43).
5766 This week's section (Nitzavim) is read as a preparation for Rosh Hashana. That is why it begins with Jewish unity. "You are standing ALL OF YOU today before G-d etc."
5767 Rosh HaShanna is the first and in many ways, the most important holiday of the Jewish year; it commemorates the sixth day of creation; when G-d created man to put meaning and blessing into the world.
5768 (1) Near the end of this week's Torah portion (Ki Tavo), Moses, after leading the Jews for forty years in the desert prepares them for entering Israel without him, and says: "… You have seen what G-d has done before your eyes in Egypt … miracles… signs… wonders. But G-d has not given you a heart for knowledge and eyes for seeing and ears for hearing until today." (29:1-3)
5768 (2) This week's section always precedes Rosh HaShanna and contains perhaps the most potent prophesies in the Torah: "And you (The Jewish people) will return to G-d your G-d and obey His voice........and G-d your G-d will gather you from all the nations where He dispersed you. Even if you are scattered to the ends of the heavens G-d your G-d will gather you. G-d your G-d will bring you to the land of your fathers etc. and G-d your G-d will circumcise your heart to love G-d your G-d.” (30: 2-6)
5771 This week will be the Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanna, the ‘Head of the Year’ and on the Shabbat immediately afterward we read a poem from G-d beginning with the words Ha’Azinu to remind the Jews of their mission in the world.
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