Just Imagine…if you were given a FRESH START!

Newborn B W Pic

Shana Tova Chevra!

This is my 60th Rosh Hashana and I have to wonder…“What will make this one different from all the other ones before now?!”

After all, I’ve stood there in Shul before, grasping my Machzor and praying my heart out to Hashem to accept my cries for forgiveness of my past misdeeds and pleading to make this next year more rewarding. But it seems like here I am again one more time..unsure if it really makes a difference. Do you know what I mean?

Then it occured to me today, after reading the Parsha Nitzavim how Moshe spoke to the Children of Israel and chose to use the words, Standing before God. Why “standing?” The answer lies in context to the last Parsha Ki Savo where we heard the 92 Curses for not turning our will and our lives over to Him. It became apparent to Moshe that we had so much guilt and shame that we had reached a point of HOPELESSNESS. That’s why Moshe had to remind us that in spite of how low we had fallen, we were still STANDING BEFORE GOD!

And this message my dear friends is what gives me HOPE and SUSTAINS me for this New Year 5777.


Full of Hope and completely giving itself over to the Care of its Higher Power, be it his Mother, his Father or ultimately God.

That little baby, that newborn is actually you and me if we could finally internalize what is really going on each and every Rosh Hashana. Yes, certainly we see the Calendar go from the year 5776 to 5777 – but that’s on a very superficial level. On a much deeper level, we go back to the First Creation of the Universe that “in the beginning” actually took place five days earlier than the first of Tishrei. And that Rosh Hashana really is THE BEGINNING OF MAN, G-d’s Partner is His Creation.

That also means that on THIS Rosh Hashana we also get a fresh, clean slate to start over – without any blemishes – and without any limitations; just like every newborn!!

Now it all fits together, when we conclude Nitzavim with God’s offer to us: “I have placed life and death before you, blessing and curse; and you shall choose life, so that you will live…” This doesn’t make any sense! Does anyone really get to choose life? Certainly we don’t choose when we’re born and we don’t choose when we die. BUT, we can choose HOW WE LIVE. How aware and conscious we are of the Steps we are taking that bring us closer to God, closer to our spouses and to all those around us. And thru these choices, that’s when rise again to STAND before GOD and receive the BLESSINGS He longs to give us!

And please allow me to bentch you and yours a year of Renewal – a new year of letting go of those negative thoughts and feelings that drove us to act in ways we regretted. A year in which we learn to turn outside of Self and turn towards others and God. And it doing so, we can all have a Gmar HaSima Tova Gut New Year! AMEN!!

Looking Forward
Duvid Chaim