A Kavannah For A New Year

By Rabbi Michael Strassfeld 

We stand once again on the brink of a New Year. The air is redolent with opportunities. Rosh Hashanah is a call to change, a crying out for hope even in the bleakest landscapes. In response, the people of Israel stir in their sleep, aroused by the dreams carried on the music and memories of this season, but then they turn over, pulling the blankets of the familiar more tightly around themselves, hoping to once again fall back asleep.

We blow the shofar, that eerie and ancient sound that called our ancestors to battle and to prayer. We blow it over and over again to stir our souls, or in the words of Maimonides about the shofar call:

“Sleepers, awake from your sleep. Slumberers, rouse yourselves from your slumber. Search your deeds and return to and remember your Creator.”

God still calls to us humans as in the garden Ayeka?, “Where are you?”
The only unknown is which of us will respond: “Hineni!, “Here I am!”

About Rabbi Michael Strassfeld

Rabbi Strassfeld recently retired from being a congregational rabbi. He is an author of a number of books and is currently working on a new book on re-inventing traditional Judaism.