web analytics
September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Sen. Ted Cruz acts senate for unanimous consent to pass the Expatriate Terrorist Act. Sept. 18, 2014.
Ds Reject Voting to Strip Citizenship From US Jihadi ISIS Volunteers
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Guest Author
Raphael Elisha Meir Cohen

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

Professor Alan Dershowitz

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

A Tribute to Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt zt”l

Until you come to see it in person, enjoy Jerusalem’s Botanical Garden virtually via this video!

After four earthquakes shake Israel in one week, experts debate whether the big one is imminent.

The art show represents its theme, the identity of joy in Judaism.

Our human GPS who loves geography, maps and anything mass transit, to actually GO to the places he constantly reads about.

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

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: