With the end of summer comes a hiatus from the sirens of war on our borders. We now prepare again, for a new war — a three day assault on our senses: the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
This is not just a ploy to get you past the first few sentences. This is real war. One that demands we store up — on food. On thoughts. On prayers. On introspection. It is an assault on our regular, daily lives that demands a change in behavior.
We are used to a war that is tangible. One in which the civilian front is called upon to stand strong and fight tough. The Israeli people have shown we can do that. Now it’s time to wage another, more spiritual war, and that too is meant to shape our future as a people.
So how do we wage this war? As a political consultant, my thoughts tend towards the leadership rather than the educational qualities. But it’s actually all the same. In order to lead, we must educate ourselves and our families, extending that circle gradually to encompass our neighbors and society at large. There truly is strength in numbers – strong numbers.
Let’s store up – on the tangibles and the abstract. Food – check out the supermarket lines to see just how tangible our people can get. Three days of eating takes up a lot of freezer space, and we are attacking that well.
Now for the spiritual aspect – storing up on enough relevant, effective thoughts to get us through the job of introspection and improvement, in three days or more. Coming off of the intense summer we all shared, this year is unique. We can wage our war of improvement by starting with the feeling of unity we all had.
‘United we stand’ is not just a concept. While we invite guests into our homes to share our Rosh Hashanah meals, we invite our fellow Jews into our hearts by holding onto that summer feeling of ‘We’re all in this together’. Introspection is for the individual yet it benefits the whole. Considering our personal situations, seeking growth and tikkun, we can become better, more responsible people. Naftali Frenkel’s mom, Racheli, teaches all of us that a shared personal experience benefits the entire nation, that we are capable of extreme caring and connection when we really try.
Let’s use the summer’s spiritual connectivity to pour over into our personal growth this holiday season. Strengthen our connection to ourselves through prayer and self-improvement, while keeping in mind that we join together as a nation seeking the love and protection of a God who looks over us in our Land. Seek guidance that is both personal and communal, looking around for those people in need and the challenges to be taken up.
By storing up on ideals of personally serving God and strengthening our resolve, the people of Israel can face the challenges of the year ahead, together. Shana tova u’metukah to all of our special Am Yisrael.