web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Finding Israel, Finding Roots In Your Rosh HaShanah

We should remind each other of the value of Israel in our lives every chance we get.
shofarot with roots

By Elana Heideman, The Israel Forever Foundation

Every year as Rosh HaShanah arrives, Jews around the world come together for their annual commemoration of the birth of the world. We contemplate how this year’s celebration will be different than the year before, who will join us at our chag table for our festive meal, who we’ll see in shul that we haven’t seen since… well, the last time we gathered as a community. We use this chag to honor our relationship with friends, family, our Jewish identity, and of course with God. We wish each other Chag Sameach and recite the same prayers, but often hope for a little something different in the coming year.

In Israel, the chagim (חגים) are a national celebration for religious and secular alike. The whole country becomes immersed in the spirit of renewal and of celebration, and schools, streets and homes are filled with the sights and sounds of the holiday. In addition to whatever religious observance one might practice in accordance with these days, there is an atmosphere of joy as we gather together with our loved ones and eat the delectable dishes – ripe with tradition, symbolism and of course flavor - that embody the bounty of our ancestral land.

Every different style of celebration in Israel in some way honors the deep biblical roots that remind us of our belonging to the land in which we are living. For Jews throughout the Diaspora, however, the emphasis of Rosh HaShanah is often devoid of this historical connection. There have even been articles and requests to eliminate references to Israel in their sermons or in family discussions on these holiest of days in the Jewish calendar, under the assumption that the only association possible is one of conflict and tension.

Indeed, the exact opposite is true. After thousands of years of living in exile, of praying for the return to Tzion, we should be reminded and should remind each other of the value of Israel and her meaningfulness in our lives every chance we get – as family, friends, as a community, bound together by our common connection to Israel in spite of the differences we may otherwise have.

This year we honor 5574 years since creation. Called the Feast of Trumpets in the Bible, the meaning of Rosh HaShanah implies a divine appointment, a time to meet with God. The liturgy and readings from the Torah serve as reminders of our mortality and personal responsibility we each bear for our behavior, and the shofar is intended to be a “wake up call” to the human conscience.

In the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we each endeavor a personal Cheshbon Nefesh, “accounting of our soul.” We reflect on whether our lives have lived up to the expectations we set the previous year at this time. We review our deeds and thoughts over the past year, searching for a connection between our daily lives, our faith, and how we can translate this into meaningful conclusions that we can carry into the new year.

Indeed, Rosh HaShanah is a time of reconnecting – with ourselves, with each other, and our identity as Jews.

So how can we afford NOT to include also a reflection of how our connection to our ancient homeland can be emphasized, celebrated, strengthened in our hearts, in our homes, with our family and friends?

Just as we strive to establish meaningful connections through our personal reflection and observance, this day of significance in the Jewish tradition should remind us of our origins as a people and our shared heritage in spite of being scattered across the four corners of the earth.

Don’t let the media overpower your relationship with our ancient home and the society and culture that are now thriving there.

Don’t let politics divide you from the rest of Am Yisrael.

Don’t let the often-distorted representations of the conflict or demonized versions of Israeli perspectives sway you against the one and only Jewish State in the world.

Wherever you may be in the world, there is a connection that is just right for you. It is our obligation as Jews to delve deeper and seek it out.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Finding Israel, Finding Roots In Your Rosh HaShanah”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists manage  to find their way to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as well.
Egypt Formally Designates Hamas as Terrorist Entity
Latest Indepth Stories
Middle-East-map

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu carried his message to Americans through the media after meeting with President Obama and castigating Iran at the UN. (September 30, 2013)

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

israel-day-parade-bds

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.

Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.

More Articles from Guest Author
Havdalah

Havdalah.com will be streaming an inspiring/live/MUSICAL/global Havdalah(NOT to fulfill obligation)

idc

The interdisciplinary center has created an educational system that combines academic tuition with a strong commitment to social issues.

Israel’s political system prevents bold economic reforms. Economist Gilad Alper offers 5 grand moves

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

I prayed throughout. My plan is to make Aliya and I pray my family can join me in Israel quickly

It has been a very challenging year that has taken a toll on the Cohen family.

I was touched by his words on the struggle to stand up for Israel.

A Tribute to Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt zt”l

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/finding-israel-finding-roots-in-your-rosh-hashanah/2013/09/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: