Friday, September 22, 2006

Rosh Hashana Musings

I would like to say some brief points regarding Rosh Hashana. Rosh Hashana is the day in Judaism which is designated for proclaiming God's Kingship. The question one may ask is according to our philosophy is it accurate to portray God as a king? God, according to us, has no desires or will. He orders no edicts. So in what way is God king? Now obviously we don'’t want to think of God as a literal king. The idea of kingship represents power and control. When we say God is the king of kings, we mean there is nothing more powerful than God. This fits very well with our understanding that God is total existence/being. Since God is really all that exists and everything is merely an aspect of God'’s power and being then it is clear that nothing is more powerful. What lessons can we take from this insight that will perhaps make the Rosh Hashana service a little more beneficial?

1) We realize that we are not in complete control of our own destiny. This relieves some unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves.
2) We learn to accept things as they happen and as they are instead of trying to force reality to conform to our wishes and desires
3) We should stop worrying about the results of our actions and focus on the actions themselves since the results are beyond our control
4) We realize that nothing in existence is its own power and everything is connected and interdependent. Instead of focusing on ourselves we should try to focus on the bigger picture. Even to focus completely on humanity is a mistake since humanity is just an aspect of existence.
5) By properly understanding the relationship of all things we will no longer have irrational hatred for those things which we think are different than us, because we will realize that even what appears as separate than us are really part of the same being.

I hope these musings are helpful. Have a happy year to all.


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