This article on the portion of the week was previously published in 2020.
On Rosh Hashanah, the first day of which is also the New Moon of Libra, the Creator comes to the world to reveal the totality of Its Light like at no other time of the year.
"...like at no other time of the year."
There’s a teaching from the great kabbalist the Ramchal that I feel purely and simply, but powerfully, explains what the work of Rosh Hashanah is. He begins by letting us know where we currently are: within this physical world, there is good and bad, positive and negative, health and sickness. However, the correction of this world, and the reason we are all here, he says, is that Light should rule over darkness. It is where we need to go, but unfortunately, when we look at the world today, there is still pain, suffering, and death… too many moments when darkness seems to rule over Light.
The kabbalists teach that the Light of the Creator is not totally revealed in this world; if it were, the Light would be endless and there would be no darkness. And during the two days of Rosh Hashanah, we have the incredible gift of the Creator revealing the totality of Its Light. As such, during that time, we have the ability to change the world.
How many of us, however, really think that? As we come to Rosh Hashanah and have some vague idea of drawing Light and blessings for ourselves, and even others, how many of us actually have the knowledge and consciousness that we can truly change the world? Because that's the work of Rosh Hashanah. Yes, an effect of it will be that we have more Light and blessings, but that's not why we are there. We are there to change the world, and the Light of the Creator is available to help us do that like in no other time of the year.
In fact, if a critical mass of people had this consciousness on Rosh Hashanah, the world would change. And that's what the Light of the Creator wants from us during these two days: to focus our work on changing the world. As I was reading this from the Ramchal, I thought, how many of us who come to Rosh Hashanah really believe this, and really do focus our work on this singular, simple point? Because the focus has to be this. Each one of us needs to have the consciousness while we make our connections that, yes, while we want more blessings, health, and sustenance, that’s not why we're there. We're there because the Light gives us the power to change the world, and make it, as the Ramchal says, how it was meant to be, with Light ruling over darkness.
"Focus our work on changing the world."
Therefore, as we come to Rosh Hashanah, hear the Torah, make our connection, and listen to the blowing of the shofar, we can ask, simply, that the totality of the Light of the Creator be revealed this year in the world as it should be, ruling over darkness and evil. We remember that we are there to change the world, because the Light of the Creator gives us that power like at no other time of the year. And, further, the Ramchal continues, we also awaken a shift of consciousness in the world, such that more people, through the work that we do during Rosh Hashanah, start thinking in this way.
The reason we are in this world, the correction of this world, is to come to the place where Light rules over darkness in greater and greater degrees. And in that happening, the world changes. So, as we come to Rosh Hashanah, we ask first, that good and Light rule over darkness and evil. We ask, also, that the world becomes awakened and begins to shift its consciousness so that we can, on a global level, gather together to do the work of the Creator, revealing Light rather than darkness in this world.
What will happen if we have this consciousness and do this work on Rosh Hashanah? It says that everybody, not just ourselves, will have all they need for this coming year, and that both individually and globally, we will start receiving goodness and blessings without end, because the Light of the Creator has no end.
So, that's our work on Rosh Hashanah: to change the world. To ask that with every single connection, word, and blowing of the shofar, the Light gains the strength to rule over darkness, and to also awaken this shift of consciousness in the world. As I said earlier, it is a simple, but powerful, explanation of the work we need to do on Rosh Hashanah.