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Rosh-Hashana
Embracing Dual Beginnings:
The Timeless Wisdom of Rosh Hashanah and the Hebrew Calendar

 We are approaching Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Hebrew calendar year.  Surprisingly, it falls in the middle of the year!       
Since according to the Torah, the month of Tishrei, in which Rosh Hashanah falls, is called the seventh month.       
But if so, it is actually in the
middle of the year and not the beginning!?       Therefore, from this we understand that the year can begin twice- at the beginning of the first month, called Nissan in the spring, and at the beginning of the seventh month, Tishri in the autumn. These 2  ‘beginnings’ represent 2 different concepts of time.

Let us consider the autumn. It is a time of withering and decay in nature and could lead to a pessimistic view of the world. The world seems to be aging and deteriorating. On the other hand, spring is an optimistic time.The world appears to come alive once more. Nature rebuilds itself and life flourishes anew. In parallel we can observe that there are two processes within the world: one of continuous regeneration and the other of constant decay.

What does the Hebrew year do? It gives meaning to both- the time of decay and to the period of regeneration. Actually, the year never ends. It begins in Nissan, the month of spring, and when 6 months have passed, the year recommences on Rosh Hashanah. Since the Hebrew calendar has two beginnings of the year, we are always at the beginning of the year and never at the end. Our belief is that the period of decay in the world  is also part of its regeneration!

We and the whole world are constantly renewed on Rosh Hashanah. We are led to understand that our outlook on history is an optimistic one.since the processes that occur in the fall- decay and deterioration, are part of the more extensive process of construction and renewal.

Wishing a blessed good year for Israel and the entire world !"

 

More Weekly Portions

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Parshat Nasso addresses individual and family issues while emphasizing the collective unity through the Priestly Blessing. This blessing, structured in three levels, reflects a balance between material and spiritual needs: "May HaShem bless you and watch over you." for wealth, "May HaShem cause His countenance to shine to you" for spiritual illumination through Torah, and "May HaShem lift up His countenance upon you and grant you peace" for the deep connection of Nefesh, Ruah, and Neshama. The Torah guides to integrate personal and communal well-being harmoniously.

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Parshat Bamidbar discusses the commandment to count the Israelites, focusing on those eligible for the army. This count underscores the tension between collective and individual identities. The Torah uses the expression "number of names," signifying the importance of both the collective and the individual. The Torah teaches that true unity blends these aspects, with the collective gaining meaning through each individual's uniqueness. This concept is reflected in the principle of "generalization and specification" in scriptural interpretation, with hidden meanings in the numbers, explored through the gematria.

Tears of Exile, Seeds of Hope: The Unbreakable Bond Between God and Israel
[Bechukotai]

Parashat Bechukotai discusses the covenant between God and Israel, emphasizing the importance of repentance for redemption. The Talmudic debate between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua delves into whether redemption is contingent on teshuva. Rashi's commentary interprets the ambiguous term "או" to support both views. This dual perspective highlights the Torah's open interpretation, showing that redemption can depend on human repentance or divine promise, reflecting a complex interplay of conditions in Judaism's understanding of historical progress.

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