We all know that the books of our lives are opened up in front of Hashem on the holy day of Rosh Hashana. When we think of this day usually fear and trepidation come into our hearts thinking of the past year, and of all the things we might have done right or wrong throughout any the year. We fear this day of judgment and what might be the outcome of the coming up year. We spend the whole month of Elul repenting and talking with Hashem and asking Him to inscribe us in a good new year. On this special day we also appoint Hashem to reign over us once again to be our King, and to lead and guide us in the best way possible. We want to be His chosen nation and to follow and serve Hashem in the best way possible.
We’re living in times where the spiritual realm of punishment and reward takes on a different light. Yes, the world still evolves around the same system of good and bad. When somebody does something good they get rewarded and when something wrong is done, we must pay the price. However this harsh way of judgment is not the way we bring over Judaism or religion today to the youth and to our children. Today we present Hashem to others only in a merciful way. That Hashem and His infinite ways are only good.
The soul today is weak from all the thousands of years of exile. The yearning for the redemption is so deep inside of us all, and the hardships and tragedies from all the year’s gone by are so great to carry, that we simply have no strength left for punishment. All we can think about is love and affection, and serving the Almighty only under good terms.
Many years ago everyone in the Jewish community kept kosher, everyone learned Torah and kept Shabbat. The Jewish people lived together and everyone knew that Hashem is one and his Torah is one. The long exile and being far away from the holy land of Israel for so many years slowly took its toll on the Jewish people, as they scattered to different countries around the world, and unfortunately looked outwardly at other cultures and ways of life. However the Jewish soul always stays connected to Hashem, deep down inside and always wants to come home. The only way to bring a lost and tired souls back home is only through love and only through a soft hand.
I live in Jerusalem, in a neighborhood where there are so many different types of Jews that come weekly to try and find their roots back home. So many souls that have been traveling for years not even knowing their heritage even existed, and then finally somehow they arrive back in the Holy Land, and in the holy city of Jerusalem and realizing that all along they belonged to this beautiful country and this beautiful nation. They finally feel that they are loved so much by Hashem and by their people.
When I see these beautiful people I don’t talk to them about punishment and reward. I talk to them about love, about the beauty of Hashem and the holy nation they belong to. I hug them and let them know they are never alone. As Rosh Hashana approaches I explain to them, to myself and to everyone I know around me that when I think of Hashem opening up our books on this beautiful day, all He will see is good. All I can see on this awesome day is just beautiful. I see the gift that I choose to give G-d. The book of our life that is opened is actually a present, a gift wrapped so beautifully that I’m giving to Hashem. Inside is something good of myself that I wish to give to the Almighty on the day we inaugurated Hashem once again as our King. As I explained this to somebody this past Shabbat, regarding our gift that we wish to give over in just a few days, I asked her what gift do you want Hashem to open up on Rosh Hashana and she would like to bring? She looked at me with teary eyes and replied; “I give G-d the gift of my breath, I give G-d the gift that I chose to wake up every day this year and not give up on my life, that’s what I give Him.” I hugged her and told her that was beautiful, and then I’m sure Hashem will be so happy to receive this beautiful gift when He opens up her book, and inscribes her in another beautiful year of happiness and love.
Redemption is truly here upon us. The experiences that each one goes through daily are so great and vast. Everything is moving so quickly since we are at the days of the full redemption. The days where all the Jews will come back home from all over the world. All the Jews will know that Hashem is one and the Jewish nation is one, and that we are one with Hashem. Therefore as we approach one of the holiest days of the year we are judged only in favor, only with love. As we enter this special holy day of Rosh Hashana, Hashem welcomes us with open arms and love and is so happy that we returned home. Hashem is happy that we want Him to reign over us and be Master of the world once again. Each one of us will bring a gift that they have in their heart. Something that was hard for them to do this year and they overcame it. A hard marriage, a difficult relationship with a child. Difficulties just getting up in the morning, wanting to go on. Overcoming so many temptations the world has to offer, and remaining in our Judaism. All these gifts we will bring to Hashem on this special day. And when He opens up our books, He will see no sin, nothing bad, only all these beautiful gestures of the Jews all over the world. And we will all say, “Hashem is one and His nation is one, and we are proud to be His children.
May we all be inscribed in the book of love, life, health, and wealth so that we may do good in the world for another year to come. Amen.