Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner and we know that the commandment of this festival is to listen to the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn. Aside from sacrifice, this is the only specific action mandated for this day in the Torah.

It says in the Un’taneh Tokef prayer that “the great shofar will be sounded, and a still small voice will be heard”.

Each human being needs to open his or her’s heart to hear this “small voice”

that comprises the pain and love of the entire world.

Each and every human being…

In Talmud, we learn about a person that hears the sound of the shofar, when he walks near the synagogue “… if one should happen to pass by a synagogue…, and should hear the cornet (on the New Year) …” (Tractate Rosh Hashana 3,7)

The meaning is that his heart is open, he is ready to “hear,” but not with the congregation, not within the community. This situation resonates with so many people, many people are ready and willing  to learn the meaning and spirit of our tradition, but  they want to do it “from the side” as they are afraid to cross the doorstep of the synagogue, because they see it  as a complex of certain stereotypes and formal rites.

During the festive meal for the Rosh Hashanah will all gather at the table to eat delicious food that prepared with love and care, we unlikely to have a walnut nut because in Hebrew gematria word Walnut is equal to the word Sin,

 there is no place for it at the table during the days of we when we pray for forgiveness and repentance.

My mom, Rabbi Elena Rubinshtein, discovered that our “poor walnut” was not deservedly expelled, because when someone was calculating the gematria of the words Walnut אגוז and Sin חטא, they did not count the last letter Aleph in the word Sin.

 And this is how the stereotype was born – Walnut = Sin (אגוז = חטא)

But in fact, the gematria of the word Walnut is Good (אגוז = טוב = 8)

The symbol of sin can be turned into a symbol of all the good that exists in the world.

We were all created to learn, to correct mistakes, to care, to love, not to be indifferent, not to pass “by”- that is the essence of the creation!

May we be able to learn and understand that every “sin” can be turned to the good.

Shana Tova Ve Metukah!