Corona and Rosh Hashana: Of Autumn and Spring

Yes, I have a Shofar in my office. Photo: Assaf Luxembourg.
Yes, I have a Shofar in my office. Photo: Assaf Luxembourg.

“COVID-19 is not a change agent, but an accelerant”. That’s what many business thought leaders such as Prof. Scott Galloway have been claiming all along, and what is today already a common agreement. The meaning of this statement is that many things which were destined to happen anyhow over time – now happen faster, and that processes which were previously hidden from our eyes (since they happened slowly over time) are now becoming apparent.

If we were to “Zoom out” from the “here and now”, The Corona crisis will probably look like a storm. An event. A “blip” in the curve. But, it’s the ongoing trend that matters. As much as things appear bad now, this too shall pass. At first, the virus will go away. Later, the economy will start to recover… Eventually… I hope. I believe.

But, the long-lasting trends which started before COVID-19, those which are now accelerating and become apparent due to the pandemic – they will stay with us for good. And they are what matters most. As of now, we are still in the storm. And it is probably going to get worse before it gets better. 

However, thinking like entrepreneurs, now is the time to invest in the day after the storm. This is where the story of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year which is celebrated this weekend, comes into play.

Originally, as the Bible describes, the new Hebrew year actually began in the Spring, around the celebration of Passover, in the Hebrew month of “Nisan.” This is when the Israelites were freed from slavery onto a new beginning, heading towards their promised land. But also, this is when nature starts a new cycle of life. Springtime. Makes sense.

Later in Jewish history, the marking of the new year (Rosh Hashana) has been moved to when it is today – the beginning of the Hebrew month of “Tishrey”, 10 days before the sacred Yom Kippur, which is when it is traditionally believed that the world was created. It is also the end of Summer, and the beginning of Autumn.

And this is where we connect back to COVID-19. 

A new beginning is not necessarily when flowers blossom, sun shines and weather gets hot (spring). Not for the entrepreneurial minded person. A new beginning could be when Autumn begins. When the leaves fall. When winter is about to return. When things are about to get harder. Because, entrepreneurial minded people understand that after the showers comes the sun. After the winter comes spring once again. After the hardship come opportunities. 

The post-COVID world has already been born.

So, how shall we end this post? I used to be consistent in sending “Happy new Jewish year” and “Happy new civil year” newsletters, where I would greet my subscribers, as well as share professional updates on my side. You can see for yourself. But, I decided to stop.

Yes, there are many updates on my side since the Corona crisis started, which I really want to share with everyone. Especially, my soon-to-be published new partnership with Plus972. Yes, I do want to let you know how my journey took place since Corona started, and how the advice I shared with others worked for me so far. But, it would have to wait for another time. For now, I sincerely want to wish all of us Shana Tova, שנה טובה, Happy new Jewish year. 

May we look back at this dark moment, understanding it was exactly in that dark time, when the post-COVID world was born. For the entrepreneurial mindset, the beginning of Autumn is the time to get ready for the inevitable coming of future Spring.

Shana Tova!

About the Author
Assaf is passionate about promoting business in and with Israel, helping and mentoring entrepreneurs, advising young professionals with career planning and self-fulfillment, and more. Assaf acts as a brand ambassador of Israel as 'Start-Up Nation', speaking to thousands of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, young professionals, students and others, both in Israel and around the world. Assaf also works as a business development and marketing consultant to Israeli start-ups and others.
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