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Rosh HaShana: 2016/5777

We often get so entangled and enmeshed in the hassles of day-to-day life that we fail to see the big picture. We need to step outside of our routine activities and preoccupations, and transcend ourselves so that we can assess where we are headed, and properly understand whether we are indeed on the right path.

And that is what Rosh HaShana is about.

The Torah was given on a mountain – Sinai – albeit a very low mountain to symbolise humility, which is required for the achievement of greatness. Why the image of a mountain? Because when we stand on top of a mountain we have a completely different perspective on the world. We see the big picture. We look at the world and our lives from the lofty vantage point of G-d’s values, which are as solid and eternal as a mountain. So often we get drawn into the changing and fleeting trends or latest fashions of behaviour. Instead, we need to be rooted in the timeless and foundational values of G-d’s principles for life.

On Rosh HaShana we take two days away from the tumult of life to reflect on these values and how we can make them part of our lives.

One such divine value, for example, is that of gratitude and appreciation. Sometimes we take the most important and basic things for granted. The Talmud says that we must even give thanks to G-d for every breath of air that we take into our lungs. We also sometimes take for granted the love and support of those who are closest to us. We need to step back and see the big picture to truly appreciate our spouses, children, parents, siblings and all our loyal friends. Appreciation and gratitude are pillars on which our most precious relationships stand.

From the transcendent perspective of the mountain of Rosh HaShana we can be inspired to change for the better. Rosh HaShana is a time of hope. It is a time of change. May G-d bless us all to be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet New Year filled with His abundant blessings.

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