Like all Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah has many iconic customs and festivities. However, the joy of the Jewish New Year goes beyond any other celebration. The beginning of a year brings opportunities for reinvention and change. Of all the dates in the calendar, Rosh Hashanah is the most powerful time to make a new start.
One may ask, “I can change any day of the year. What makes Rosh Hashanah so special?”
It is true that every morning we have a fresh start. Many of us find comfort in the belief that God renews the world every day, filling life with fresh opportunities, and giving hope during bad times for a better day is on the horizon.
The first of every month is also a beginning. According to the Jewish calendar, a month begins with the new moon. As the cycle waxes and wanes, the moon’s reappearance is a sign of rebirth, a new start for anyone willing to take advantage of it.
Although there are constantly new beginnings, Rosh Hashanah, the first day of a new year, has its own unique power for change.
Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the universe. According to the Jewish belief, God created mankind on the sixth day of creation - what was established as the first day of the world. When Adam and Eve came to life, no past existed, only the present and future. The world was new and flooding with opportunities for growth and happiness. Just like the very first Rosh Hashanah was filled with good fortune, this atmosphere returns every year. The holiday focuses on the future, not atonement like on Yom Kippur. It’s as if the past doesn’t exist. Every person’s slate is clean and waiting to be written on for a sweet new year.
Change is hard. It’s easy to desire improvement and fantasize about a utopian life, but that is impossible to achieve over just the two days of Rosh Hashanah. However, the inspiration of these days strengthens any growth, no matter how small. Often, the results of a small resolution are more fruitful than those of a large, unattainable one. Big goals are fun to talk about but the small ones are usually what is maintained. Truth be told, a small change is never small, since it often facilitates more improvement as a result. Rosh Hashanah energizes any sort of change and resolution. That is why it is established as a new beginning. It contains a power no other day of the year has.
By taking advantage of this opportunity and making a new start is an act of creation onto itself. Creation, new beginnings, and the power of Rosh Hashanah are packed into two powerful days. Improvement means different things depending on the person, but everyone has something they’d like to change and this new year can be the beginning of a new life.
Wishing you and your family an inspiring Rosh Hashanah!