Israel Forever

For the week ending 1 October 2005 / 27 Elul 5765

What a Way to Start the Year!

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Tens of thousands of people crowded into New Yorks Times Square breathlessly waiting for the magic moment of twelve oclock midnight so that they can jubilantly hail the new year.

Liquor flowing freely in a smoke-filled ballroom with the band playing "Auld Lang Syne".

This is the way to start the year!?

Tens of thousands of Jews in synagogues throughout the world breathlessly waiting to hear the sound of the shofar which will arouse them to make new years resolutions to become better Jews in the year to come.

This is the way to start the year!

A new year means a new chance. "Ring out the old, ring in the new" means for us the repentance of mistakes made in the year gone by, and a commitment to not repeat them in the one that just began. Rosh Hashana, when we express in shofar, prayer and custom, our total allegiance to the Master of the Universe is followed by Yom Kippur, when He enables us to cleanse ourselves of all our sins. Then comes Succot, when He asks us to live in temporary homes which remind us of the temporary nature of life in this world and the need to make the most of it.

This is a season of holidays for Jews everywhere. But for Jews in Israel who are faced by so many problems of security and economy, it is certainly a season for waking up to our true destiny as a chosen people who will inherit Israel forever.

May we all be inscribed for a good year.

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