December 15, 2017 /
There is no doubt that the High Holidays are different than all the holidays of the year. I believe everybody feels different during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as they are days of serious observance They are known as the Yamim Noraim or the Days of Awe as we stand before our Creator asking Him for understanding, forgiveness and atonement for our behavior during the last year, hoping and expecting to be inscribed and confirmed into the Book of Life. There is no other time during the Year that is as spiritual as these days. On the other hand, they are also known as Yamim Tovim or the Good Days. Why? Because Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days in which there is an atmosphere of hope and happiness along with the nice melodies of our liturgy.
What is the reason for the paradox found in the observance of these Holy Days?
Our Sages in the Talmud say that Teshuvah, going back to the right path, was in place before the world itself was created. That is to say, the idea of Teshuvah, of a person changing himself and changing the course of his life, is an integral part of Creation and the key for the continuity of the existence of the human race.
Being able to change the course of our life and the world by leaving selfishness on a side is probably the greatest task in our life.
On these High Holidays we are certainly celebrating the freedom that is giving to us for Tikun Olam, to change and repair the world.
As one great scholar once said: “Freedom is the right to do what we have to do, not what we want to do”
So, let’s take advantage of the Divine gifts that were granted to us. Let’s use Teshuvah, Tefilah and Tzedakah, repentance, prayer and charity to proceed in life with an opportunity to ‘make things better’
Let’s raise our voices in song and prayer with the promise to have in mind our power to share with our fellow man.
Shirley, Mijal and I wish you all Shannah Tovah Umetukah and G’mar Chatimah Tovah.
May we all have a Sweet and Good Year and may we all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.
Cantor Victor Geigner