Rosh Hashanah is traditionally considered to be the day that the universe was created, in this case 5778 years ago (give or take a few billion). I like to think that along with the call for reflecting on our actions in the past year, it can be a time to meditate on our own existence, not simply because we have made it another year, but also in the sense that we actually exist in the first place.
I enjoy taking a moment during these two days to contemplate this. Life, and even inanimate existence, are incredible things. They are mysteries that often lead people to feelings of spirituality and appreciation.
We’ve made it this far (Shehecheyanu!) but there’s plenty of future left. As Rosh Hashanah progresses into the Days of Awe we begin to turn our attention more outward in the pursuit of righting our wrongs before the arrival of Yom Kippur.
One of the things that I would definitely like to work on during this new year (and hopefully every year to come!) is being more conscious about how the decisions I make affect the planet. As the birthday of the universe, Rosh Hashanah seems almost like a second Earth Day, or perhaps a “Universe Day.” Seeing as the other planets have not yet been harmed by our policies and waste, I will focus on this one for the time being. I plan on making a concerted effort this year to improve my habits and lifestyle in the goal of moving toward a more sustainable future. I consider this a big part of Tikkun Olam and it is a topic that I plan on discussing here frequently. I believe that Judaism is an inherently Earth-conscious belief system and lifestyle. By deeper study into Jewish teachings I hope to find the sources and guidance for living in a more harmonious relationship with the planet and its diverse population of species, and conversely I aspire to gain a more intense connection to my beliefs by doing right by all creatures.
In this light there will be a significant portion of my efforts in this blog devoted to sustainability. I aim to spend time in both scientific research as well as delving into our traditional sources of wisdom to find ways to cause less harm and more good. I love nature, animals, and life in general, as well as reading ancient and modern teachings, so this is a pursuit that combines multiple passions of mine.
I hope I am able to assist others who may have a similar aspiration and I welcome your suggestions as well!
Leshana tova tikatev vetichatem!