“A Different Sort of New Year” by Debbie Brenner

Jan 1st, 2012 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Reflections & Observations
Excitement was reigning in the faces of thousands of people waiting for 2011 to be over. 10, 9 8 ….. 1 Happy New Year!!!!! All wishing each other the best, hopes and dreams to be hopefully realized in this coming year.  People hugged, smiled, shouted, felt united with strangers in Times Square to be able to shout together the new year’s welcome.

I was watching the scene on tv and felt like an outsider. Why were people so excited?   I had no doubt that the mutual good wishes were certainly real. But then I realized that the wishing was hopeful wishing. Almost like seating in front of a roulette expecting that, yes, this will be my turn to be lucky.  And then, in contrast to our Rosh Hashana, I was struck by the shattering difference.  We have a day of judgement in which what we do matters. The behavior is dependent on our actions. The ultimate “ein mazal b’israel”. That we are masters of our own destiny as opposed to be just recipients of the mazal. We can be raised above the mazal to shape our own.

The other side of the coin in this active shaping of our own destiny is responsibility and understanding we shape our life with our choices.

So on that note, I wish you an enlightened solar 2012 year of choices that will make us better human beings.