Rosh Hashanah 5775
Livnot Program Coordinator Shlomo Tal gives us his thoughts on the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah 5775
Hi dear Chevre!
Rosh Ha-Shana is just about to shine its light upon our tired (or not…) souls. The New Year is coming in. Totally new Year, totally new reality that wasn’t even created yet… What will it bring to us? Are we ready to open up and welcome the unknown? Some people may feel a little bit scared… The Unknown… (and some may be even scared more then a bit).
I would like to invite you to experience a different type of emotion (or mind state). Let’s change fear to curiosity. Interesting, what kind of refreshment this year will bring to us? How is it going to change me, how is it going to help me to grow and shine?
In simple Hebrew, Rosh Ha-Shana means “A Head Of A Year”. But there is a deeper translation. Rosh Ha-Shana means also “A Head of A Change” (or even “A Change Of A Head”). So, according to this translation, this beautiful day and even more so amazing “spiritual musical experience” (I mean blowing the Shofar, which by the way comes from the Hebrew of “Leshaper” meaning “to improve”) is an open invitation to join “The Wind of Change”. This Shofar-Mind-Blowing sound may serve as a reminder how much is there to improve in ourselves and in the world, and how more wide and free our “Head” can “Change” , if we just answer this inner call for infinite freedom.
But what about action? Don’t worry, Yom Kippur is the perfect time for these kinds of decisions to make. Rosh-Ha-Shana is to open up for a deeper and better Me, and Yom Kippur will follow – what I decide to do with this new Me.
I wish you all a beautiful good and sweet year, for those ones who like it sweet. And for those ones who want to take an optional challenge and dip yourself into more extreme stuff – I wish you a Radical Amazement-able spicy-but-yummy Year!
As our world moves through the timeline, we as humans are open to different ideas, different forms of emotions and different ways of action.
Let’s analyse common people’s lives about until 100 years ago. Most of people lived their lives without questioning their existence; they didn’t leave their small town or village, and never tried to change their occupation. They just did what was needed, usually for basic survival. The world in general was run by power and fear. In the world of science the material world was believed to be stable and inflexible, it’s rules un-stretchable. One object can affect another one only by direct external relationship. Accept it, learn how to manipulate it or suffer. Thoughts and emotions were not believed to make any real difference. Only force, external action and survival.
Something happened to the world in the last 100 years, and as timeline drives us forward, we see how this change is unavoidable. In people’s private lives we can see much more freedom in their choices. We don’t want to do only what need to be done; we constantly question our existence with no desire to live our lives in a way our parents did only because that’s how they did it. We are exposed to wider spectrum of cultural and ideological experiences. Even in the field of common human’s spirituality people no longer worship the deity that they got “stuck” with, humans in general stopped performing rituals because of fear of power of spiritual beings. They seek for enlightenment, connection, something that will touch them from inside. In our human relationships we seek for the sense of excitement, connection and resonation. The world’s politics moved towards leaders that have to be nice and polite, they cannot just force masses to follow them. They have to “bribe” them with values and strive to change the world for the good. In the world of science we moved to a new perception of the world. Einstein’s theory of general relativity showed us that two events, simultaneous for one observer, may not be simultaneous for another observer if the observers are in relative motion. Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox shows experiments by which one can measure the state of one particle and instantaneously change the state of its entangled partner – although the two particles can be an arbitrary distance apart. Carlo Rovelli and relational quantum mechanics shows that the world appears not to be solid and material but more likely to be hologramic realm flexible to be changed by observer’s perception on the universe. It appears that different observers may give different accounts of the same series of events. Modern science shows us that everything is interconnected on sub material level. Our emotions and thoughts do effect the world, more so our believes. Still, modern science is really far from exact understanding how it works, and even more, why and what for.
The fact is that where quantum physic stops – Kabala starts. About 4000 years ago our forefather Abraham expressed first and fundamental principles of our ancient quantum mechanics touching much deeper layers and aspects of spiritual powers that affect the world in the “Book of Formation” (sefer yetsira). Later on, after the common experience of oneness at the mountain of Sinai, accepting Torah and especially deepest level of it which now we call Kabala, the deepest information about spiritual structure of all the worlds was passed over ,generation after generation, through the history of prophets, sages, to Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai writing down the book of Zohar (literally translated as “shining”). About 500 years ago in Tzfat this knowledge was passed over by one of the greatest Kabbalists Rabbi Yitzchak Luria to his student Rabbi Chaim Vital to be written down in a very organized and detailed way. Later on in Eastern Europe this knowledge was interpreted and exposed even more By Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov (the founder of Chassidic movement) and his students. Chassidism translated high Kabbalistic language to everyday and approachable practices. In all those texts and words of wisdom of our spiritual masters you can find those ideas of oneness, interconnectedness, ultimate freedom of choice, power of our mind and consciousness to change, strive for meaning, excitement, wonder, reincarnation of souls, finding one’s purpose and the purpose of being, deep immaterial relationships between everything in creation and ways of its ultimate connection to the one infinite light that constantly emanates, creates, shapes and effects the reality. But this information, those ideas have never stayed as “science”, theory or knowledge. The point is about the experience, growth, practices of connection making it all real. We use the knowledge, and by effort and life time investment we are making it all alive.
Our thirsty generation is ready more than ever to grasp this wisdom and existential philosophy of ultimate freedom by connecting to infinity and channelling it into the world. And it is just here, in front of us. Taste it and see how sweet its nectar is. You are welcome to enjoy!
Livnot Program Coordinator