Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, is upon us! It feels as if we are ending the longest year of our world’s history. Since the onset of this global pandemic, over 900,000 people have passed and millions have fallen ill. Those suffering include our neighbors, friends and, for many, immediate family.
The Great Chassidic master of the 17th century, the Baal Shemtov, teaches that Divine Providence means that we each have a direct relationship with everything we hear, see and experience. Thus, when we learn of someone’s hardship, it’s a calling to help fix it; otherwise, it would not have come before us. And the good news is that the same Divine Providence provides for us with the formula and extra strength to address it.
This puts an additional onus on each of us this Rosh Hashana season. Rosh Hashana is the time when we reflect on the state of our personal lives and the areas where we need to make changes. We use this time to think about our individual purpose, where we need to realign and we pray for Divine assistance and intervention.
This year, we must go one step further: On top of all else, we must hold ourselves up to the looking glass and examine what more each of us could do for those who are suffering today. Quite frankly, I am overwhelmed by the number of people who have been reaching out for help.
The call of the Shofar we listen to on Rosh Hashanah resembles the wake-up call that comes from within. It is the stirring of our soul that asks us to be more alert, to truly be alive by being more aware of those around us and how we can be there for them.
We are all here for a purpose. And that purpose requires that we constantly go outside ourselves and be there for others in a very giving way.
Chabad of Malibu hosted outdoor services and short Shofar sounding events throughout Malibu. Please visit our website, jewishmalibu.com.
R’ Levi Yitzchock Cunin