The Time Is Now For Rosh Hashanah Preparation

Think of Rosh Hashanah like the stem cells of the year.  They can become anything organic as they develop and grow. 

[NOTE:  Stem cell:  “A biological cell that can divide and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types.”]

The possibility that we have been given by God in the establishment of Rosh Hashanah to impress upon the substance of time the shape and color that we wish it to have is both an opportunity and a challenge to consciousness.

[NOTE:  Opportunity:  We influence the possibilities.
Challenge:  Self-control, integrity, self-knowledge, beyond blame.]

The High Holiday Prayer Book has us pray for being inscribed in the book of life.

[NOTE: .אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ, כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר חַיִּים טוֹבִים]

We have an entire shopping list when we say : ” our Father our King – – Avinu Malkenu, we need this, Avinu Malkenu, … that”.

[NOTE:  Take a moment now and jot down yours.] 

Looking at that list, we find that many things that we pray for are so basic [that they apply also] to life in general.  However, there are some things we need for the coming year meant for only each of us that could not have been in the minds of the people who composed the prayer. So an important part is to prepare one’s own list of requests.

It is not enough to request something from God without making a container for God to fulfill that request.  The container is made by our creating behavior vessels for those requests to be fulfilled.  There are times when we pray for something like “grant us peace You the source of peace” without realizing that that was granted to us a long time ago and we have not yet taken advantage of it by creating the conditions and instruments to be able to receive the peace granted to us.  We also have an opportunity to pray for ourselves and for the issues in our life.  

One of the ways in which we create the container is to share our concerns and worries about the coming year with friends and family.  This way we can clarify our values and our needs and create a vessel for mutual cooperation and support.  When we say Avinu Malkenu we always use the plural.

[NOTE: “Our Father, our King” instead of “my Father, my King”] 

Creating such a plurality of caring loving for one another is a sure means to have God’s benevolent Providence bless us and support us for the coming year.  

The blowing of the shofar has always been seen as a wake-up call. In this current era of our life we need to hear the outcry of our planet, our mother the Earth who aches for her children. 

[NOTE:  Melech haolam, our living home, the planet.]

According to Hasidic teaching something happens in cosmic dimensions: Each year on Rosh Hashanah the divine decision to reign over the cosmos has to be re-instigated by people who reach out to the attribute of the divine kingship and Majesty.

[NOTE: בנין המלכות

Consider this: it is our prayer that stimulates the divine will to continue to energize the entire cosmos. It touches not only the life on this planet. Imagine then: our reaching out to be connected with and governed by the will of the Creator is what makes for a strong reality in which divine Providence can manifest from divine generosity.

So blowing the shofar and our listening with an open heart establishes that connection in which our will to be governed [is received] by the divine intent for life.

But unless we begin our work earlier, before the high holy days, during the month of Ellul, it is unlikely that we will be well enough prepared for that moment so we can be open enough to send our intent along when we hear the shofar blast.  The preparation begins with the examination of our conscience in relation to our activities in the last year. I find it useful to have conversations with some soul friends now, before the high holy days.  Sharing in the preparation with them gives much greater reality and brings about the good results that we wish to have for the coming year.

3 Responses to “The Time Is Now For Rosh Hashanah Preparation”

  1. deborah roisman Says:

    I think it is most important to do the work all year so that we are prepared and then, when we hear the shofar blast, we will feel positive blessings in the year to come.
    I think that in sharing your feelings with friends and loved ones the feelings are made more real and honest and you will truly want to make them a part of your life.
    l’shana tovah you look great reb Zalman!
    deborah roisman

  2. janice rous Says:

    Thank you for the gift of your deep wisdom. It continues to strengthen me on my path. kein yehi ratzon reb zalman that you are with us for as long as you chose to be / much love

  3. mary hutchings Says:

    Blessings on you Reb Zalman, Thank you for the gift of your being. L’ shana tovah and may you be inscribed for a happy and healthy new year. B’shalom, Mary

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