Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wake Up!

Life is a series of beginnings and endings. The end of a pregnancy begins a new life. The end of being single begins a new marriage. The end of one grade begins another. And the reverse hold true also. Dr. Seuss wrote: Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. And I'd like to add: Laugh because something new is going to happen. One year's ending is a new year's beginning. And retrospectively, we try to understand, make sense of and calculate our past actions. Rosh Hashana... we focus so much on rectifying the past, cleaning our slate instead of being michadesh this new month, this new year! Instead of being filled with guilt, we should be filled with hope and promise! We have such a fabulous opportunity in our midst! Why should we wallow in our filth and mistakes of the previous year? That's foolish! Instead of crying over the friends we hurt and the teachers we mistreated, we should take that brave step and renew them... or, as Hashem does with us- Anew them. When you think about it, on Rosh Hashana Hashem isn't deciding our verdict based on our past... he just deciding based on our future! Are we worthy of being created anew...? This is what Hashem wants to know. Not if you are going to end... but if you are going to begin! Hayom Haras Olam... today is the birthday of the world... A birthday? A beginning! A celebration! And Hashem wants to invite you to this gala event! He wants to feed you delicacies and shower you with gifts! He wants you to dance! To sing! Rosh Hashana is a Yom Tov! A good day! Why do we go into these days of awe like a mourner at a levaya? This isn't your funeral! It's your party! These aren't days of mourning! They are days of MORNING! A sunrise! A new beginning! How fitting that we recite Modeh Ani each morning and Vidui during these upcoming days... The words, so closely related, are so appropriate both in their relationship and in their inherent meaning...
Rosh Hashana is less than 48 hours away. Hashem doesn't want us to wake up to recite Vidui with sorrow... but to recite Vidui with joy just as we would recite Modeh Ani each morning! Hashem isn't going to ask us, "why are you such a sinner?" He's going to ask, "Will you do everything you can this coming year to refrain from sinning? Will you do everything you can to become closer to Me this year? Will you love me this year?"
So... it's almost Rosh Hashana... Instead of feeling depressed and scared... instead of feeling black and disgusting.... instead of feeling like a loser, WAKE UP! Open your eyes! Recite Vidui like you would recite Modeh Ani! Say it with excitement, enthusiasm and JOY! THIS IS YOUR PARTY! It's the birthday of the world-- and YOU are invited to the celebration! Dance! Sing! Show Hashem that you want life! That you want to live! Celebrate your new beginning as if your life depends on it! Because my friend... it does.
 

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