This article was written by Rabbi Yossi Mintz.
At sundown on Wednesday, we will begin celebrating Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), marking 5774 years since the creation of Adam and Eve—the first people.
Rather than celebrating the New Year on the anniversary of the creation of the universe, we celebrate it on the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, which was the sixth day of creation, because we are celebrating the creation of a purposeful world.
Without people, our world would have no one who could affect meaningful change; it would remain trapped within its limited nature. Only intelligent people who have the ability to make their own choices could build and develop our world allowing it to reach beyond its natural state.
But while we as people have the unique power to build the world that God created; we also have the ability to harm it. The keys to this world are in our hands, making us the "masters" over creation.
Each year when Rosh Hashana arrives, we remind ourselves of our purpose and mission in this world; to build it and improve it. Are we living up to those expectations? Have we built this world, helping it come closer to fulfilling its purpose or have we damaged this world making our own existence counterproductive?
Yes, you are just one of the billions of people on this planet, but you have a unique mission and purpose; you have the keys to create purpose in your own corner of time and space. As Zushe of Anipoli (1718-1800) would say: “My fear is not that I will be asked why was I not like the giants of the past such as Abraham or Moses. My fear is that I will be asked why I didn’t live up to what Zushe had the potential to be.”
As Rosh Hashana approaches it is time to refocus our lives to reflect our true purpose. Add another mitzvah (commandment) to your regular daily routine; give a few coins to charity each and every day, or light candles welcoming the Shabbat and bringing light to your home every Friday at sundown. Discover more mitzvot that can enhance your life at jccmb.com/mitzvah.
Join me this year at the Jewish Community Center on Rosh Hashana—Sept. 4-6—as we renew our resolve to live up to our potential. Try our inspirational services where you will be guided through each step of the way. A seat, a kippa and a prayer book will be waiting for and of course; no fee or membership is required.
Our children are our only insurance that our mission and purpose-of-being continues to the next generation. Bring your children to our special family services where the prayers, stories and songs, bring the service to life for you and your children.
May you and yours be blessed with a happy and sweet new year filling all of your requests both materially and spiritually.
Our High Holiday Services will be held at our center at 2108 Vail Ave. in Redondo Beach. All are welcome, and no membership is necessary!
For more information, please call 310-214-4999, email email@example.com or visit our website at jccmb.com.
Editor's note: Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach is also holding High Holidays Services. For more information, visit the Temple Menorah website.