Rosh Hashanah Message - Rosh Hashanah Wisdom For The Soul

By Eli Ha-Levi

Rosh Hashanah literally means "Head of the Year" in Hebrew. In Judaism, just as the body depends on the brain in one's head to function correctly, so too does time have a head which determines the course of future events. On Rosh Hashanah, G-d judges us based on our motivations and deeds over the past year that occurred between oneself and others and between oneself and G-d which will determine our destiny over the new year. A wholehearted self-examination beginning one month prior to Rosh Hashanah and continuing through to the end of Yom Kippur known as Teshuvah, or Return, Renewal, or Repentence, is required of each Jewish person to change a potentially negative decision by G-d on Rosh Hashanah. Since the theme of Teshuvah is forgiveness and forgiving others, while we can be granted forgiveness from G-d, we can only be granted forgiveness from other people by directly appealing to them and being given their acceptance.

So what does all of this mean in a nutshell? Rosh Hashanah serves as an annual reminder to Jewish people that improving our personal conduct is both an inside and outside job; daily, each person must constantly be aware of their behavior and from that awareness work at improving their communication, listening and, generally speaking, their overall behavior skills toward both themself and others, with the goal of ultimately becoming better people than the year before. How? One technique is by developing an inner awareness of our thoughts and feelings. Our transgressions are rooted in our thoughts and feelings. Oftentimes we push unwanted thoughts and feelings back down into our subconscious, where they continue to control us. Behind every feeling is either a need for approval, a need for control, or a need for security. If we can focus inside ourselves and ask ourselves in any moment: is this feeling coming from a need for approval, a need for control, or a need for security, followed by asking ourselves: can I welcome and accept what I'm feeling right now, followed by asking ourselves: can I constructively release or set this feeling free from my mind, we eventually will free ourselves from being controlled by any feeling - good or bad. By identifying, welcoming, and releasing all of our feelings, we are enabling ourselves to allow our feelings to flow through and out of us which will eliminate being controlled and hence limited by those feelings and will widen our perspective in any situation we face. We will then be better equipped to consciously choose the most constructive way of handling any situation. This is but one technique that will help us to become better persons not only to ourselves, but to others as well and will fulfill G-ds' wish for us to continue along the road toward developing our full potential as human beings as G-d requires of and reminds us each year on Rosh Hashanah.

Le-Shana Tova Tikatevu ve-Techatemu - "May You Be Written Down And Inscribed For A Good Year" in Hebrew.

A Gut Un Gebentsht Yor - "A Good And Blessed Year" in Yiddish.

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