According to Mishnaic teaching, the New Year festival ushers in the Days of Judgment for all of mankind. Despite its solemnity, the festive character of Rosh Hashana is in no way diminished. In Scripture it is called
“a day when the horn is sounded”;
in the liturgy
“a day of remembrance.”
Again this year there will be no sounding of the ram’s horn (shofar) at the synagogue service, because the CoViD regulations best to be kept for some longer time, to safeguard the people we love. The Jeshuaist community in Belgium prefers that everybody still stays in their little bubble and shall celebrate the change of year in their own house. But that does not mean we shall not feel united.
At sundown on we shall take our prayerbooks and shall sing many songs, thinking of all our brothers and sisters worldwide.
With the blasts on the rams’ horn, we shall acclaim the Elohim Jehovah God as Ruler of the universe and recall the divine revelation at Sinai.
This year our thoughts shall be with the many people all over the world who became a victim of the many floods and storms caused by global warming. In Wallonia alone there are 27 000 houses totally destroyed, needing to be rebuild. In the meantime, We can only hope that the many victims of past natural disasters can find a safe haven.
Sounding the ram’s horn on Monday night, we’ll hope our music shall spread along the internet and also be a call for spiritual reawakening and repentance. Because the New Year ushers in a 10-day period of self-examination and penitence, Rosh Hashana is also called the annual Day of Judgment; during this period each Jew reviews his relationship with God, the Supreme Judge.
As human beings it becomes high time that we start thinking about showing respect for the creation. It is by our selfish way of living that mankind destroys nature and brings their environment in unbalance.
We cannot unrestrainedly deplete the earth and abuse its resources, while our profligacy adds to the pollution we cause.
Our recklessness shall bring us down on our knees. The sound of the shofar is necessary to call people to come to open their eyes and to see the works and judgements of God. On Monday we shall sound a call to become a better Mensch and to remember how God looks down at the world and will judge its inhabitants. Some people will use Musar literature as “ethical literature” emphasising personal piety as a necessary complement to intellectual studies of the Torah and Talmud.
There are so many ancient writings to guide us, but lots of people are not any more interested in those older writings. They Include topics as diverse as agriculture, architecture, astrology, astronomy, dream interpretation, ethics, fables, folklore, geography, history, legend, magic, mathematics, medicine, metaphysics, natural sciences, proverbs, theology, and theosophy. There is so much that it would not be bad to make as a New Year’s resolution to finally start working on studying some of those works.
Rosh Hashana also known as the Day of Remembrance, us commemorating the creation of the world, and the Jewish nation recalling its responsibilities as God’s chosen people, should have us this year wishing it to be a waving away of the coronapandemic and not keeping it as a promise but tackling it in a better way with the natural resources of Mother Nature, the earth given to us on loan by God.
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Today our thoughts go to all those people who are sitting in the great misery of nature disasters having come over them.
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