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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jews Celebrating the Birthday of the World

Nadene Goldfoot
Tonight starts Rosh Hashana.  Our holidays always start the eve of a special day.  Rosh Hashana is the day when G-d completed the creation of the world by creating Adam, the original man.  So this is the year 5772 on the Jewish calendar. 

This month of Elul is the time to think about our past actions and attitudes of the past year, and to resolve to correct our shortcomings.  It is a month of mercy.  We proclaim the Kingship of G-d, and repeat our commitment to serve Him well.  G-d reevaluates the quality of our relationship with Him and creates our world anew.  Since these days are marked as a special period of divine grace when our sincere prayers are sure to find favor in the eyes of G-d, it's a wonderful time to ask for peace for all of Israel. 

After services, we say, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."  The Rabbis tell us that on this special day we all stand in judgment before G-d.  If we are worthy, we are "inscribed" in the "Book of Life."  Ten days later on Yom Kippur, the Book is sealed.  We can sweeten the decree, and merit G-d's blessing for health, well-being, and prosperity for the coming year through repentance, prayer and charity. 

The Days of Awe
Outside of Israel we celebrate for 2 days.  The two days of Rosh Hashana and the 7 days following and Yom Kippur are known as the 10 days of Teshuvah, or the 10 days of awe.  which means repentance.  Judaism emphasizes that our essential nature--the divine spark of the soul---is good.  We do a deep self-condemnation, but realize that our deepest desire is to do good in accordance with the will of G-d. 

Resource: Your Tishrei guide from Lubavitch World Headquarters-pamphlet

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