Rosh Hashana is a day of judgement. It is the first of a series of ten days, culminating in Yom Kippur. During these next ten days we each pass before Hashem, as we say in the prayers of Rosh Hashana, like sheep each in front of it's shepherd. We each pass in front of Hashem in judgement, each of us, alone. It seems quite a scary prospect. We have a feeling that when shule is so packed we can kind of get lost amongst the masses, but when it's just you and God there's no fooling anybody. He knows who we are and if we really have reached our potential in the past year. If we are successful in these ten days then we are sealed for an incredible year, and we can manage hopefully to take another step closer to Hashem .

Rosh Hashana is the start of this process. Our Rabbis explain that the main work of Rosh Hashana is to crown Hashem as King of the world. As you read the prayers of Rosh Hashana you will see this immediately. Rav Soloveitchik explains that no matter what, Hashem is obviously the King of the world. He created it! He is constantly recreating it! But the difference between a tyrant and a king is whether the people accept Him. When we accept Hashem as King on Rosh Hashana we crown Him, so to speak. That is how the world is supposed to look. We say in Aleinu at the end of every shule service that we long for the day when "every knee will bow and every tongue will praise Hashem". We eagerly anticipate the time when the entire world will realise that Hashem is the King of the world - when everyone will realise it's His world, not ours.

This realisation starts with us, and it starts on Rosh Hashana. That's the start of the process. To do teshuva and return to Hashem and make up for our mistakes in the past year we first need to realise this fundamental point: Hashem is the King. This is His world.

And so on Rosh Hashana, the start of this process, we, as a nation and each of us individually, crown Hashem as our King. From here we have ten days to look into ourselves and to honestly regret the mistakes we have made regarding our relationship to Hashem and to our fellow man, and to contemplate how we can possibly move forward.

Shana Tova!

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