Weekly Sidra: Rosh HaShana (New Year)
Torah Portion: Bereshit / Genesis 21:1 – 21:34
Maftir: Bamidbar / Numbers 29:1-29:6
Haftorah: Sh’muel / I Samuel 1:1-2:10
The year 5773 is fast approaching. The two Haftarot for Rosh Hashanah are a reflection of pain and joy.
On day one we read of Hannah’s prayer to HaShem for a son. She is so distraught that her prayer appears to Eli as if she is drunk. (I Sam 1:12) Yet in her anguish HaShem hears her prayer and Samuel is born and then eventually consecrated to perform service in the Temple.
Rosh HaShanah literally means “Head of the Year” in Hebrew. It falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. The reason for this is because the Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nissan (when it’s believed the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt) but the month of Tishrei is believed to be the month in which God created the world. Hence, another way to think about Rosh HaShanah is as the birthday of the world. Even though the theme of Rosh HaShanah is life and death, it is a holiday filled with hope for the New Year. Jews believe that God is compassionate and just, and that God will accept their prayers for forgiveness.
The second portion deals with HaShem comforting us in our distress.
“Thus said HaShem:
A cry is heard in Ramah–
Wailing, bitter weeping–
Rachel weeping for her children.
She refuses to be comforted
For her children, who are gone.
Thus said HaShem:
Restrain your voice from weeping,
Your eyes from shedding tears;
For there is a reward for your labor— declares HaShem”: (Jeremiah 31:15, 16)
The New Year brings much excitement and joy. There is also pain and hurt. The comfort comes in knowing that HaShem is in charge. If we put our trust in Him we will experience growth and development through sadness and sorrow. HaShem can use our difficulties as a means of molding and shaping us into the people we are meant to be.
May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year and may you merit many years. I am reminded of the saying “tears can sing and joy shed tears”. Remember that as you go through the peaks and valleys in this coming year.
Tags: anguish, bamidbar, excitement, genesis, good year, growth and development, hannah, jeremiah 31, mdash, nbsp, new year, peaks and valleys, portion deals, reflection, rosh hashana, rosh hashanah, rsquo, sadness and sorrow, shed tears, torah portion
More Related Articles: