How New is the New Year?

We are only a few days away from Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish new year.  We find in Jewish writings that Rosh Hashonah has various names. The Torah calls it the Day of Shofar Blasting.  In many Jewish writings it is called the “Day of Judgement”. However, the most common name given is Rosh Hashonah which means head of the year which connotes the idea of the beginning of a new year just as the head takes the lead by a person.

But, this must be understood. What constitutes a new year? Is it just an arbitrary date chosen to mark our dating system?

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Chabad explains in the Tanya, that “on the eve of Rosh Hashonah the energy of the world returns to its source and then through the blowing of the Shofar and our prayers a new energy that is higher than the previous years, descends to give life to the world.”

Thus, when Rosh Hashonah comes, we have the opportunity for a new beginning and transcend the sense of routine that sometimes enters our lives.

May we all be blessed with a Shana Tova Umesukah, a truly sweet year filled with joy and goodness and may we finally merit the Complete Redemption with Moshiach speedily in our days!

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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