Dvar Torah - Parshat Nitzavim: The Head of the Year

While Rosh Hashanah is often translated as the "Jewish New Year", it is really nothing of the sort. Rosh Hashanah is literally the “Head of the Year” and it is the head not just for the Jews but the entire world. 

There are certain holidays, Passover comes to mind, that celebrate events that are particularly Jewish. Rosh Hashanah, on the other hand, celebrates the creation of the world, and more specifically the creation of humanity. 

Rosh Hashanah is a time of contemplation and introspection. One of the biggest questions that people have is, "Is there a purpose to life" Rosh Hashanah is a special time of year when that answer is very clear. Just considering the idea of being created instead of existing accidentally is enough to clear the mind. There is a reason you are here. Rosh Hashanah is a time to find it. 

In this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim, we are told that the answers you seek are not up in heaven or far away across the sea. Jewish religious thought is connected to this world. You can think about it, and use your own reason, rational understanding, and moral reasoning. You can talk about it with friends, discuss it with rabbinic experts, and come to your own conclusions. 

Jewish identity is yours. Ultimately you are the one that needs to do it. No one can do it for you. Get out there and explore!

Best wishes for a meaningful Rosh Hashanah and a productive year.