Rabbi’s Rosh Hashana Message 2019/5780
As we usher in the Jewish year 5780, it is appropriate for all of us to take a moment to appreciate the many blessing and miracles in our lives. We pray that the coming year be filled with joy and happiness, peace and tranquility, good health and success, abundant livelihood and continued spiritual growth. In just a few short days we will be standing in Shul, hearing the Shofar blow, as we repent for our past behavior, crown G-d as our king for
another year and most importantly, ask Him in deep prayer to solidify our upcoming year to be one of sweetness and joy. Yet, I am sure you wonder on occasion: why do we need two special days for that? Why the countless hours of prayer? Can’t I just think it in my mind, feel it in my heart for a few minutes, and move on to politics/sports/pop culture?
It’s 2019 and I will speak to you in relatable terms: computers. We enjoy them all the time, it allows us to connect with our friends and family, at times it’s a love/hate relationship and every so often we are told that we need a “software update”. If we’re good at taking care of our stuff, the hardware could last a very long time, but the software is constantly needing upgrades and if we want the computer to function properly and give us the most benefit, we’d be smart to follow the upgrade instructions.
Rosh Hashana is the day we were given by G-d for our annual software update, system reboot and overall upgrade. We don’t need to understand Java or HTML, we don’t need to be a computer geek or hacker, we must simply take the time, to turn on our computers, look in our settings icon and allow the updates to do their thing. G-d doesn’t expect us to understand
everything about His infinite operating system, to figure out the exact cause for this year’s malfunction that needed fixing, but He does need us to allow the update to occur and we can only do that if we follow the Rosh Hashana steps.
We can certainly choose to ignore Rosh Hashana, ignore the system update, but then we’re stuck in the past where it’s not easy to communicate with Him anymore, we’re vulnerable to malware attacks, system crashes and viruses of all kinds, and we just get left behind. Its not because we did
something wrong, it’s because we didn’t make the effort to do something right. Remember:
Nobody, not our “friends”, neighbors or cousins, gets hurt by our refusal to update/upgrade, the only one that really gets stuck is us, all by ourselves.
So dear friends, here’s my New Year recommendation and you’d be wise to heed my advice: update your system. Don’t fall for the myth that Shul is boring. Some Shul’s may be out of touch, but ours is not and the sacred time of prayer should be utilized by all of us to reboot our relationship with
Hashem. If there’s anything computers teach us, it’s that not upgrading is basically downgrading. Last year is not good enough for this year and if you don’t believe me call Apple or Microsoft and see what they say.
In summation: You may not like all the rules of Judaism every minute of every day, but it’s a reality that your soul was chosen by G-d to be part of “A kingdom of priests and a holy nation”.
G-d, is pleading with us to cherish that chosenness, treasure that uniqueness and do our part to stay up-to-date.
May Hashem bless us in ways that only He can, with rich health, with success in our lives, with the courage to make the right/good choices, the strength to resist the temptations of secularism and the opportunity to be ambassadors in G-d’s army to brighten the world around us, and together with Klal Yisroel and all of humanity reunite at the third Holy Temple in our Hometown of Jerusalem, now!
Rochel, Eli, Chana Leah, Esther, Messoda and Mendel join me
in wishing you all a Kesiva Vachasima Tovah, a happy and sweet
Rabbi Avram Banon