We all can name at least one of the holidays in the Jewish month of Tishrei, which we are nearly ending. Starting with Rosh Hashana, to Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hashana Raba, Shemini Atezeret and Simchat Torah, this month is replete with festivities. It is a time meant for inspiration, realigning our direction in life and assuring we are staying in track, and last but not least, a time of joy.

Joy plays a very big part in the High Holidays, despite the fact that they are known in Jewish literature as 'days of awe'. True, they are powerful and at times quite serious, but ultimately they remind us how very lucky each and every one of us are to be blessed to be Jewish.

The pinnacle of the High Holidays was Simchat Torah. The Torah was brought out of the ark in Synagogues the world over, and taken around the Synagogue with joyous dancing. Though Simchat Torah is the celebration of the completion of the weekly Torah cycle, the Torah is specifically closed when we dance with it. For even a Jew for whom the Torah is a 'closed book' has every reason to celebrate on the Simchat Torah: the Torah is the birthright of every single Jew.

This week we start the cycle once again, reading the very first Torah portion of Bereishit, Genesis. We read, once again, the story of creation, of the first man and woman. The of how God made the world.

For the High Holiday season is supposed to cause just that. A personal 'Genesis' for each one of us. A time of 'creation', of renewed energy and conviction to face the new year head on, and make it the most joyous, meaningful and fulfilling year yet.


Rabbi Avrohom