Mintz: A sweet new year
Homecomings are special.
Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is just days away. It’s a time of reflection and new beginnings, giving us the opportunity to uplift ourselves above the fray, as we say in Yiddish “a Tefach Hecher,” stepping up, literally, to a plain of soulfulness that changes our reality. This upliftment is epitomized most during the blowing of the shofar, the ram’s horn, that takes place on both days of the holiday and is the mitzvah of the day.
Growing up as a child in Crown Heights, the heart of Brooklyn, New York, I’d spend the holidays with the Lubavitcher Rebbe of saintly memory, at his synagogue, lovingly known as 770, for its address on Eastern Parkway. It was three weeks of spiritual bliss that taught me to see the back-to-back holidays not as a burden but as a fountain of spirituality to nourish us for the upcoming year.
I especially recall the atmosphere in the large ballroom as the Rebbe ascended to the central dais, the bimah, to blow the shofar. A room packed with seven or eight thousand people fell into total silence, we waited edgily to hear the blasts, and then a sound like no other pierced the stillness. It felt like the Rebbe was penetrating the heavens, beseeching our Father in heaven, with a wordless cry, to bless humanity with a sweet new year.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7 and Wednesday, Sept. 8, we will join Jews around the world and blow the shofar right here in Vail. As the shofar sounds, it represents the cry of a child who has missed their parents for a very long time and finally reunites with them in a tear-filled embrace of joy.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
God longs for a relationship with each of his creations, and when we finally come back to him, he doesn’t seek to alienate us with punishment or rebuke, rather he simply celebrates the homecoming.
Rosh Hashana is the day that God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, so it’s a holiday for all of humanity. Let’s take this time to strengthen our relationship with the almighty, focusing on all the good he does for us, and celebrate the life he gives us.
Doba, along with our kids, joins me in wishing each and every one of you a happy, healthy and sweet New Year.
Please visit JewishVail.com for our high holiday schedule including shofar at the gondola.
Rabbi Dovid Mintz directs Vail Chabad Jewish Center. He and his family live in Vail since 2006. He can be reached at info@JewishVail.com.