September 27th, 2019 – Rosh Hashanah 5780
The Center for Latino – Jewish Relations Brings You This Weekly Bilingual Torah Commentary
Rosh Hashanah 5780: Wishing everyone a sweet and happy New Year
September 30th is not merely the end of the secular month; it also marks not only the end of the year 5779 and also of the decade. The years composing this 8th decade of the 58th century have been years of great success and challenges, moments of joy and tragedy.
Although there is far too much to mention here are a few of the events that shapped the years 5770-5780. The past decade opened to perhaps the greatest and most talked about non-event in history, the so-called Y2K. This was a decade of technology, from the launching of Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter causing the rise of social media and a world in which politics will never be the same. to the dot.com bubble burst. As is so often the case we have seen more war than peace, from Iraq to the tragedies in Africa, Latin America and too many American cities. It was also a decade of vast population movements from Africa to Europe and from Latin America to North America. The 70s were the decade of the big storms, with weather making news in all sorts of places and in all sorts of ways. There are even those who predict that by the time we face the year 5800 life on earth will have come to an end.
Of course during the last decade the Jewish world was never boring. From terrorism attacks to hate crimes this decade might be called the end of the Diaspora’s innocence. Israel continued to absorb thousands of immigrants and expand its economy even as it faced new military challenges from close range and from afar. The miracle of modern Israel is that despite the fact that it must contend with almost daily attacks from across its borders, the nation has not only continued to fulfill its mission of ingathering of the exiles, but also has become a cultural, economic, military and scientific powerhouse. Today, Israel is not merely the land of the Bible but also the world’s Start-up nation.
As we bring this 8th decade to its conclusion and we prepare to face ourselves and G-d here are a few thoughts to take into the synagogue with you:
-On Rosh Hashanah we are aware that God is judging us. But God is truly judging us every moment of every day. It is only on Rosh Hashanah that we, as a people, pause to reflect on this phenomenon. – Michael Mascolo
-During Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people ask God for forgiveness for the things we’ve done wrong during the past year. We also remind ourselves not to repeat these mistakes in the coming year. In this way, Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to improve ourselves. It’s a holiday that helps us to become better people. – Tori Avey
-No single article can capture the paradox of Rosh Hashanah, much less explain it. To understand Rosh Hashanah, we need to experience it — spend those hours praying in shul, hear the shofar’s hundred notes, dip the apple in honey and eat the tzimmes. – Yanki Tauber
-Rosh Hashanah isn’t just about being new, it’s about a change.– Max Levis
-One who shames another in public has no share in the world to come. Therefore one must take great care not to shame another in public, whether young or old either by shameful name-calling or by tale-barring- (Maimonides)
-Our greatest transgression is not that we commit sins-temptation is strong and our strength is slight! No, our greatest transgression is that at every instant we can turn to G’d and we do not turn.” (Chassidic statement)
-Who is truly repentant? The one who, when the temptation to sin is repeated, refrains from sinning” (Talmud)
L’Shanah Tovah Tikkatevu/May Each of You be Written in the Book of Life during 5780
Youtubes for the Week:
Shirim L’Rosh Ha’Shanah/Songs for the New Year
Sounding the Shofar (Ram’s horn)
A fun song:
Miracles in Baseball
Miracles do happen. Last week Israel became the 2nd country to qualify for the Olympics in baseball (this is not an error). Two years ago, Israel surprised everyone with a 6th place finish at the world Baseball Classic in Seul Korea. Perhaps in 5780 Israel can go for the gold.
Here is a video about Israel baseball in Seul