As a Jew I have the gift of more than one New Year celebration, the secular New Year and Rosh Hashanah, the new year of the trees, the new year of the agriculture, and more. This year, Rosh HaShanah is the beginning of the year in so many ways, literally, academically, religiously, but for me, it is the beginning of a year of change. Each year I arrive at Rosh Hashanah feeling like this is the year of change. We are so blessed to have a time of self reflection and inventory of our souls and our deeds built into our yearly cycle. We have the gift of the opportunity to evaluate ourselves and really try to make a difference in our own state of being. As I begin to review the holiday liturgy, I notice that unlike the new years resolutions that are made on the secular New Year as an individual for the betterment of self, the resolutions that we make this year at our Rosh HaShanah celebration are different, they are not only focused on what we can do as individuals, but how we can act as a cohesive community. As we begin to repent and change ourselves, each of us is bound to the same code of conduct. If we take an active role in remembering what we are repenting for this year throughout the coming year, we have the amazing ability to change the world by changing our actions. If we each take care on our own not to lie, not to embitter, not to falsify, then as an individual we can make a change in our relations with others. If we take the time not to speak gossip, not to betray, not to commit any of the acts mentions in the vidui, then we can change our world and affect those around us positively. We have the opportunity here to truly create a community of strength, support and positive energies. The blue prints for this plan are laid before us in the liturgy of the yamim noraim, but it is up to us to actively live this life and bring these blue prints to life after the season of repentance, introspection and evaluation ends.
May it be your will God that I return to this date a year from now a stronger person. Help me to continue growing and becoming a better person. Keep me in your protection so that I may grow and become the person I am trying to be. Help me to know who I am and how I can be more like the person that I want to be. Shield me with your love! Help me to study and learn to my hearts content. Please continue to bless me with love, peace of mind, body and world. Please help my family be blessed in peace, health, happiness and prosperity. Bless us with the ability to change and act in accordance with our yetzer haTov, and give us the strength to over come our yetzer haRah. May we be blessed with your presence in our lives throughout the year, and may the gift of life be bestowed upon us and all our family and friends.