God and Partners, Ltd.
“I hope this new year brings me better luck”; “I hope this new year brings me peace”; “I hope this new year brings me the love of my life,” are all hopes I’ve heard from many close to me as the Jewish New Year is coming upon us. But as JKF once said: “It’s not what the new year can do for you, it’s what you can do for the new year.” Okay, he didn’t say that exactly but you get my point.
To begin with, in Judaism, the year is not referred to as a “new” year but rather the “head” of the year. It’s for a good reason. Just as the head of a person gives directives to the rest of the body, so does the energy, prayer, meditation, and repentance we infuse on the holidays give direction to the year ahead. It is like a time release capsule, and how we fill it will determine what is diffused throughout the rest of the year. That is why we are cautioned against sleeping too much on Rosh Hashana, because we don’t want to sleep away the entire year to come. That is why we eat sweet things as well, so that the year ahead will not be embittered but rather pleasing and savory. That’s why we pray, so that we will be granted mercy and blessings. But the better luck we seek for the New Year will not materialize if we allow our feet to lead the way instead of our HEADS. The Hebrew word for leg is “regel,” which is related to the Hebrew word ragil meaning “like usual.” If we conduct our lives “like usual,” by way of habit, letting our feet lead our heads instead of the other way around, then we can never effectuate the change we want to see.
Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. Indeed, praying to God and His participation is definitely necessary for any success we are to have. But long before corporate law came along to create legal partnerships, God made us partners in the creation of our own destinies. God named man “Adam,” which means “earth,” for a good reason. Each is replete with potential but needs to be cultivated to bring forth the fruit of their seed. Man is a participant in his own creation. In Genesis it is written that God said, “Let us make man.” Who’s the “us”? Did God need a partner? The answer is yes, and we are that partner. There are some of the more arrogant breed who try and dismiss God completely and say God helps those who help themselves believing their efforts alone bring success—but they, too, are wrong. With all the self-help in the world, if God does not bless your efforts, they will be for naught. Through repentance, prayer and charity we can earn God’s favor and find that He isn’t a silent partner after all.
So as you enter Rosh Hashana, I pray that you enter it with your head first, with clear decisive goals as to how you can change and be better and do better. It’s your future—BE THERE!
I dedicate this week’s blog to the Levlalev Orphanage in Israel. http://www.levlalev.com/index.htm