There was once a man travelling by foot from one village to another. In order to get to this village, he needed to walk through a forest, in which he had to keep to a path which would lead him out to the other side and into his village of destination. The only problem was that it was a night-time journey, and there were no lights to illuminate the path. The only way was to try and keep as straight as possible and hope for the best. However, soon he strayed away from the path and found himself lost in the forest, and with the rain pouring down and a storm approaching this was turning into a most unpleasant experience. Just then, there was a flash of lightning and for one split second the pitch black was illuminated, with which he could view his path and scramble back onto it. Then there was darkness and the challenge to keep to the path renewed itself. But sure enough, not so long later when he had veered off course again, another lighting spark interrupted the darkness, with the path being visible for those precious few moments. The man had found his ‘natural lampposts;’ he would direct himself via the lighting sparks back to the path .
And so is Rosh HaShanah. It is a day of light, in which we realign ourselves and our directions in life. It is a day where we can wholeheartedly proclaim HaShem as our King and us as His people. A day which we use to direct ourselves back onto the path for the year to come. It is our spark of lightning.
This is why Rosh HaShanah is called Yom HaZikaron - the day of remembrance. For it is the day when we renew our remembering HaShem and our commitment to Him. And it is also the first of the ten days of repentance, despite not mentioning sin, because the first step of repentance (Teshuva) is to know Who you are returning to; to HaShem our Creator, who we re-commit to on Rosh HaShanah (Rav Wolbe). Furthermore, this is why we do not sleep [for no reason] during the daytime of Rosh HaShanah; because this would be a needless distraction and removal of one’s consciousness from the focus of the day.
We’re not writing pages about Rosh HaShanah because there is one simply fundamental theme and message. On Rosh HaShanah we are judged on our present behaviour. If we can focus and commit wholeheartedly and earnestly to our Father and King, we will have succeeded on the Day of Judgment. It just needs preparation, dedication, and the strength of character to be serious about themselves and their commitments. Perhaps it is the only time where one can hope that this lighting will strike them - and leave a lasting effect.
L’Shanah Tovah Tikasev VeTechatam L’Alter LeCahim U’l’Shalom; for a good year may you be inscribed and sealed, immediately for a good life and for peace.
Shanah Tovah,

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