As we commemorate
the first anniversary of September 11th, there
are no better words to define the events of the past year
than the Rosh Hashana prayer: Hayom Harat Olam – Today
the world trembles. Today the world is born.
Today the world trembles – and tremble it did.
Physically and psychologically. And the trembling didn’t subside
on that fateful Tuesday morning one year ago. This past year
was one that shook not only our landmarks – symbols of both
our economic might in lower Manhattan and our national security
in the Pentagon – but also our economic infrastructure, with
the exposure of a corporate world not to be trusted. Who would
have imagined that in just one year so many of our ‘reliable’
systems would be upset, that the world would so radically change
– and so suddenly, without warning.
America is experiencing only the tip of our
present day iceberg tremors. Israel and the Middle East remain
the hotbed of global turmoil – as it has been since the beginning
And the trembles continue. We are no more certain
today than we were one year ago. Does anyone feel more secure
today? Has anything changed on the geo-political front or the
But, today the world is also born. These tremors
are the precursor of a new world. All birthings are preceded
by trembling pangs and spasms, trembles that shake up the old
and make way for the new.
What will this new world look like? Again Rosh
Hashana provides us with the answer. By going back to the beginning
we can see the future. By studying the roots we can see the
fruits. Rosh Hashana is described in the prayer as ‘zeh hayom
techilas maasecho,’ ‘this is the day which is the beginning
of Your work.’
In the beginning, all of creation recognized the
‘hand inside the glove’ and was aware that material existence
on its own is but a ‘matrix,’ a surface experience that masks
the forces within. Every Rosh Hashana we are called upon to
declare to ourselves and the universe our cognizance of the
Divine energy which lies within and is the essence of all that
exists. “May everything that has been made know that You have
made it; everything that has been created understand that You
have created it; and everyone who has the breath of life in
his nostrils declare the prominence of G-d and His dominion
Every year on this day we renew our contract with
G-d, with the universe and with destiny; we rededicate ourselves
to reveal the inner unity within everything around us
-- “v’yaasu kulam agudah achas laasos retzoncho b’leivov sholom,’
‘they will all form a single unit to carry out Your will with
a complete heart.’
And then we are asked to translate the declaration
into action. Introduce, reveal, expose the true essence of all
creation. Imbue your every act with higher purpose. Infuse your
every move with spiritual direction. Instill in your every breath
the awareness of your soul which is but the breath of G-d.
This is the mission with which we are charged.
And today more than ever – as the existing world trembles –
we have the power and opportunity to birth a new reality, one
where all peoples, religions, nations, corporations recognize
the true inner force that makes it all happen.
The only permanent solution to misguided religious
passions that breed wanton terrorists is to humbly accept the
sovereignty of G-d and the sanctity of life with which each
human being is Divinely endowed.
The only true remedy to greed and corruption,
to establish trust between buyer and seller, between owner and
worker – to hold onto moral values even as we pursue individual
interests – is to connect to the eternal and the absolute, to
an unwavering sense of justice and virtue.
As this year winds down and we prepare ourselves
for a new dawn – actually the new moon of Rosh Hashana – I would
like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your kind
blessings and warm wishes. In the spirit of G-d’s words to Abraham,
“those that bless you will be blessed,” you will surely be blessed
in all ways.
I also thank you for supporting our work – financially
and morally. I am honored to partner with you in our vital work,
and look forward to an even stronger relationship as we go to
the next exciting stage of our work (which you will hear about
soon). May G-d’s promise be fulfilled in you: One who gives
charity will become wealthy.
In addition to all the above, I would like to
extend my blessing and prayer to you, my dear friend and reader:
May this New Year bring you revealed blessings,
for success in all your endeavors, material and spiritual.
May you experience only joy and happiness – you,
your family and friends. If any trembles do come your way, may
you immediately and painlessly see how they lead you to a new
May you find your soul mate, and have the courage
and the commitment to open yourself up when your soul mate is
sent your way. Those of you that have already found your soul
mate, may you find him/her anew – and build a wholesome home
and family, one that will illuminate all those that enter your
home and the environment around you.
May you be blessed with health, strength and direction
to use your unique gifts to make an indelible positive mark
on the world – to realize your potential and actualize your
indispensable contribution to the universe.
May you be blessed with all that you need, even
the needs that you are unaware of.
May you be blessed with revealing the Divine in
all the things that you do, and in bringing a smile to another.
May we all be blessed with a year of love, peace
and finally ushering in a time where peace and unity will prevail,
between all people and all races.
On Rosh Hashana, when nations are judged and their
destinies determined, “which for war and which for peace,” may
we usher in with peace the birth of a new world order, devoid
of violence and war, when nations will “beat their swords
into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nation
shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn
war any more,” because it will be a world “filled with Divine
knowledge as the waters cover the sea.”
Blessings of ketivah v’chatima tovah, l’shana
tovah u’metukah, b’gashmius u’bruchnius.