Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, starts at sundown tonight. This marks the beginning of the year 5762. Traditionally, God inscribes one’s fate on Rosh Hashana and it is sealed on Yom Kippur, ten days later; the period is known as the Ten Days of Awe, where you have a chance to repent, to turn away from evil.
After the events of the past week, I am looking forward to the new year — with hope, but also with trepidation. Three years ago, Rabbi Avi M. Schulman of
Congregation Beth El in
Missouri City, Texas, wrote this in his sermon for Rosh Hashana:
This is the eternal lesson of these ten Days of Awe: life is fragile. Life
is precious. Do not take life for granted. You can make a difference in how
you live your life through teshuvah, tefillah, and tzedakah — repentance,
prayer, and righteous deeds.