The story is told of two prisoners condemned to death being held for 6 months in the dungeon of a castle. On the day of execution, the lieutenant leads them down the corridor and up the stairs level by level until they come to the courtyard exit. They are taken to the wall, blindfolded, given their last cigarette and their hands are tied behind their backs. The lieutenant walks back to his firing squad and says, "Ready, aim ..." and one prisoner turns to the other prisoner and says, "Now here's my plan!"
Rosh Hashana, the day of judgement is on its way.. It's up to us to make our plans and prepare for it before it's upon us. How do we prepare for Rosh Hashana? First, we have to focus on the essence of Rosh Hashana - it is the time for us to recognize and accept the Almighty as a reality in our lives.
For many of us it is difficult to relate to God. Our society gives lip service to God, but we really have little understanding of God - of how He relates to us and the world. It is difficult to feel His presence or understand His role in our lives - we may not even know that deep down that we really believe in God.
In the prayers on that day we focus on Malchios (Kingship), Zichronos (Remembrance) andShofros (Shofar blasts). These focus on three aspects of our relationships with the Almighty: (1) He is the Sovereign of the world - He created it, directs it, interacts with history. (2) He remembers the covenant with our forefathers, our deeds and administers justice to us, (3) His Presence is manifest throughout history -i.e., the shofar blast at the giving of the 10 Commandments to the Shofar blast of the final redemption. The Shofar is to wake up and to take action.
If you are unsure and would like to demonstrate to yourself that you believe in God, then ask yourself these questions: (1) Did you ever pray? (2) Were your prayers ever answered? (Most everybody says "yes.") (3) What did you do to "bribe" God to answer your prayer? (In truth, one can't bribe God with anything; God has no needs. He doesn't need our prayers or our praises. Actually, prayer is to change us, not Him.) (4) If you didn't do anything to "bribe" God, then God did it just for you -does that mean that God loves you? Most people are able to appreciate the concept and accept it.
There are two main ways to gain an understanding of God - intellectual and emotional.
However, even if one has sufficient intellectual reason to believe in God, he still has to interact with God on an emotional level to have a relationship. To make God real to you, you need to take what you know by intellect and make it an emotional reality. God is not a computer to input data or get a read-out. God is our Father in Heaven Who loves us and wants good for us.
How can you work on your relationship with God? It is an old Jewish custom to take walks and talk with God, to commune with God. You can talk to God, pray, pour your heart out. It's a lot easier to do this when, unfortunately, there is a tragedy going on in one's life. One has to treat God as a reality to feel God as a reality. If one focuses on the many blessings in his life, it is easy to feel God's love.
Soon the "lieutenant" will be coming to escort us to the Rosh Hashana services. Hopefully, you'll be ready with not an escape plan in hand, but a plan for connection, for commitment, for growth. A sweet and healthy year to you and your family!
BEAUTIFUL NOT TO SHARE.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN VERY OFTEN.... HE LOOKS LIKE A GIANT SNOWFLAKE!!!