Mendy Kaminker

Rosh Hashana at Yellowstone Park?

This image is not real – it was created by AI!

I love Yellowstone Park.

The colorful Grand Prismatic Spring, with its incredible colors, stands out as one of the most unique natural wonders of the world. Driving through the Lamar Valley and coming face-to-face with a giant bison, or hiking the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, are unforgettable experiences.

Oh, let me make it clear. I have never been to the Yellowstone Park. But I saw enough pictures to know that visiting the park would be an awesome experience.

And when I say “awesome,” I don’t mean the overused, hyperbolic expression (“this toilet paper is just awesome”!), but I mean it. Watching this one-of-a-kind natural beauty must be so awe-inspiring. I can easily imagine driving in the park, feeling so small and overcome by a strong sense of awe at the beautiful nature created by G-d.

Is this how Adam, the first person created by G-d, felt when he opened his eyes for the first time and walked on planet Earth? With pristine mountains stretched before him and countless creatures, diverse in shape, size, and colors, roaming freely all around him?

Did he feel small and insignificant? Not in the least.

Adam immediately realizes that while he might seem small, he is the main character. G-d had given him wisdom, consciousness, and the power to choose between good and evil. He is not just one more creation; he and all the people who followed him are the center of it all.

The Zohar relates how Adam gathered all the creatures and called upon them to realize and appreciate their maker, G-d.

And every year, on Rosh Hashana, as we celebrate another year and take a moment to appreciate the extraordinary world G-d has created, we also take a moment to recognize our central role.

Because Rosh Hashana is not celebrated on the day the world was created but on the day humans were created. This holiday carries a big sign that says: you matter. Not only for yourself, not only for your loved ones but for everything. You have the power – and responsibility! – for the entire world!

Isn’t that awesome?

Wishing you a Shana Tova!

About the Author
Rabbi Mendy Kaminker is the Chabad Rabbi of Hackensack, and an editorial member of
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