Avrohom Leventhal
Avrohom Leventhal

Standing 2gether

Rosh HaShana is approaching. One can feel it in the air and see it in the streets. At this point Sefardim and Ashkenazim are saying selichot. Apples, honey and shofarot are selling like “hotcakes”.

We are preparing for the Day of Judgement that will usher in the New Year, hopefully a sweet one with blessings of health and well-being for all.

For all.” That is the key word here. Rosh HaShana is the Day of Judgement for all of creation, regardless of religion, race or social-economic status.

The Great Equalizer.

We all stand together, as one, as G-d, our Father our King, decides what will be in store for the coming year.

On one hand, it is frightening as any trial would be. On the other, however, there is comfort in knowing that the Judge is a loving and caring One who desires closeness and our return to Him.

The knowledge that we are equal in the eyes of G-d should help us in washing away our prejudice and ill feelings towards others. Here is the opportunity to begin anew with G-d, our fellow and perhaps most crucially, ourselves.

It so fitting that Parshat Nitzavim is the last one before Rosh HaShana.

אתם נצבים היום כלכם לפני ה’ אלקיכם
You are ALL standing here today before HaShem, your G-d

Another great equalizer.

On the last day of Moshe’s life, he gathers the entire nation, from baby to adult, leaders to water drawers. According to our tradition, even those not yet born were included in this gathering. It was a message for eternity.

That message was that in the eyes of G-d we are all equal. Yes, despite differences in the way we look or our various stations in life, ultimately, our relationship with Him can be the same. Our goal in life is to love G-d, love our fellow humans, and love ourselves.

It is just important today as it was on that last day of Moshe’s life. Hence, everyone had to be there, whether physically or spiritually. It was a message ingrained in the soul of each and every person.

Rosh Hashana provides the opportunity to experience standing all together, whomever we are and wherever we might be.

Let us unite, as one, with one heart, to crown G-d as our king and commit to be better and do better, to ourselves and to others. There can be no greater way to insure being written into the Book of Life with the verdict of a sweet and blessed year.

Shabbat Shalom and Ktiva Vchatima Tova

About the Author
Rabbi Avrohom Leventhal, noted educator and speaker, is the Executive Director at Lema'an Achai.
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