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How to celebrate Rosh Hashanah

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The King is in the Field

Since we are now in the Hebrew month of Elul, the month before Rosh Hashanah, I’ve been talking and writing about the concept of the King is in the Field.  We know that we can pray anywhere, anytime, in whatever language is comfortable for us.  The basic idea of the King is in the Field is that even though G-d is always available to listen to us, He is closer than usual during this time.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains something very special in a chassidic discourse, a maamar.  The first Hebrew letters of the beautiful phrase from King Solomon’s Song of Songs, Ani L’Dodi v’dodi li, I am my beloved’s and my Beloved is mine, spell out the name of the month Elul.  This is not by chance, so we have to understand the connection between the two.

The Rebbe breaks down the phrase into two parts to teach us a lesson to elevate our spiritual endeavors during Elul, this unique time of year.  

“I am my Beloved’s”

First we have: “I am my Beloved’s.” This refers to our spiritual service during the month of Elul.  We call this an arousal from below.  It refers to when we ourselves take initaitive to become closer to G-d.

In fact, we hear the blowing of the shofar each day of the month of Elul to awaken our soul, and to move us to focus on our past, so that we can better our future.

Then after Elul, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur come along in the month of Tishrei. Now let’s look at the second part of King Solomon’s words. “My Beloved is Mine.” 

What’s Happening?

Here, by contrast, the arousal begins from G-d.  G‑dliness is drawn down from Above in the month of Tishrei in the days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur.  But what is actually happening here?  Our relationship with G-d is so precious, that we actually can cause a closeness in our relationship with Him.

It’s not happening on it’s own.  It’s a cause and effect. 

What we do now to get close to G-d, causes G-d to reciprocate.  

It’s Not Just What Happens in the Synagogue

The spirituality that we are infused with during the High Holidays actually comes about as a result of what we do, not only in the synagogue during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but with what we do as preparation during Elul.  It means that we can get a head start right now.

Our preparations each and every day during Elul help us draw down those special feelings of attachment and closeness during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  It’s not just by chance that we all feel such a deep connection during these holidays.  It’s not just the familiar prayers and the beautiful singing of Avinu Malkeinu, our Father our King.

On Healthy Relationships

It is that special feeling one gets when they work on a relationship and see and feel that relationship growing and moving in a positive direction.  It’s the strengthening of the bond, unlike anything else, that will continue to give us the needed spiritual nourishment throughout the year.

When we take care of our spirituality, we feel balanced and more secure.  And this will undoubtedly have a direct affect on our physicality and our approach to our lives each day.  

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