Rosh Hashanah 8
I was once giving a Lunch ‘n’ Learn for Hillel students at the university. I was explaining that we believe that G-d is intimately involved with this world. In fact, He is constantly recreating the world every moment.
“G-d doesn’t control my life. It just randomly happens according to the dictates of nature,” one student brazenly challenged me.
“You’re absolutely right,” I responded.
The poor kid was taken aback and didn’t know what to say.
Concerning the festival of Rosh Hashanah, King David writes in Psalms, “For it is a law unto Israel, judgment for the G-d of Jacob.” Based on this verse, the Rabbis teach that “the Heavenly Court does not begin judgment until the Earthly Court has sanctified the new month.”
It takes 29 ½ days for the moon to go around the earth and so every Jewish month ends up having either 29 or 30 days. In ancient times, witnesses would come to the High Court and testify that they had spotted the new moon. Once validated, the Court would declare that the new month had arrived.
The Gemara notes that since the new month is not in effect until the Court has said so, Rosh Hashanah – which falls on the first of the month – cannot happen until the Court decides. And since Rosh Hashanah is the day that G-d judges the world, He cannot begin judgment in the Heavenly Court until the Earthly Court declares the day as Rosh Hashanah!
The Talmud is teaching us that we have the power to invite G-d into our world! Until we declare that we are renewed and sanctified, the Almighty doesn’t enter!
You can choose whether to invite G-d into your world or not. If you choose to, you are allowing yourself to be guided through life. If you choose not to invite the Almighty into your life, then your life will indeed be random. Your life will be at the mercy of the forces of nature, as G-d has arranged the workings of the world.
It’s not that G-d is not actively involved in your world – the entire world is in the hand of G-d – but He is acting in a more hidden manner. And who wants that?
Invite G-d into your world! Let Him guide you through life. Your life will be out of this world!