Rev. Chani Getter, LCSW
September 7, 2018
The High Holidays are upon us and although I have not kept in touch much (since I am still healing from my concussion) I feel compelled to write something… to share… to connect….
I was asked today, “What is the essence of Rosh Hashanah?” I think that I answer it differently every year, perhaps even every day. This is how I am answering it today.
The part in the prayer service that is unique to Rosh Hashanah is the addition within the Musaf prayer (the service that follows the morning prayers). In it we find these 3 central points:
1 – Malchiyot – Kingship – Anointing God as our king
2 – Zichronot – Remembrance – Remember our deep connection to Divine
3 – Shofrot – Shofar – The call to connect.
As a child I was taught that there is no king without a kingdom, therefore on the anniversary of the human birth (the 6thday of creation) we humans crown God as our king. We pronounce that loud and clear for all to hear, and we remember that we are God’s subjects; we do that with the blowing of the Shofar.
In today’s day and age, when monarchs are mostly figureheads, what is the essence of Malchiyot? What is the message that we are embracing?
Perhaps on the first day of the New Year we are invited to Remember our shared humanity. As the lyrics of the famous song* “What if God was one of us… just a stranger on the bus….” perhaps this new kingdom is God revealing Godself as one of us, a stranger on the bus, all of us, trying to make our way home.
Perhaps we are being asked to step into our humanity, to understand our immense power and our deep vulnerability. To declare all of it, One – To ourselves and to each other. Can we step into the reality that we do not have all the power, do not need to control, and that we are being held by the humanity we share? I believe we can, when we have the courage to REMEMBER to look into each other’s eyes and see ourselves and each other as Divine.
How do we come together? Perhaps when we hear the call. Sometimes as a whisper… sometimes the blast of the Shofar.
May we continue to remember our Humanness – our power and our vulnerability, our shared pain and ability to heal.
As this New Year beckons – let us all be blessed with health, happiness, joy, stability, prosperity, abundance, connection, love and all that we desire.
Shana Tova u’Metuka
k’Siva v’Chasima Toyva
Happy and Healthy Sweet New Year
*song written by Eric Bazilian and covered by various singers
audio version - listen now