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Celebrating Rosh Hashana, the holiday that commemorates the start of the new Jewish year, we look to achieve peace and harmony among ourselves and among others. We declare G-d’s oneness and kingship to the world. We also recite blessings over special foods at our Rosh Hashana table. These foods symbolize good outcomes for the upcoming year. Just as the color white is the absorption of all colors, Torah is the absorption of all knowledge. On Rosh Hashana, we honor Torah knowledge with the acknowledgement of practicing the laws and statutes, as this is what makes this world work, as outlined by the Creator Himself.
Out of the many symbolic foods we recite a blessing on, we express our hope to be like the pomegranate, which is filled with many seeds. On Rosh Hashana, we pray to be full of mitzvot like the genetic makeup of the pomegranate. Mitzvot, or good deeds, make our lives work more efficiently when we follow them. Some mitzvot that help our world run are: honoring our parents, and making a bracha on food. Every mitzvah we perform helps us acknowledging G-d’s great kindness towards us and instills gratitude within us.
On Rosh Hashana, we ask G-d that our enemies be banished forever and that they should not affect us in any way. We pray to be as the head of the fish and not the tail, and that no one should subjugate us and we should rule over our enemies. As long as we remain in the driver’s seat of our lives and make the right choices, we can help ourselves flourish emotionally, physically and spiritually and overcome negativity..
Peace is defined in Positive Psychology as a state of non-conflict. Desires and goals do not conflict with our values or motivations. A state of peace can be achieved through self-knowledge and self-regulation. Peace allows all of us to achieve our goals, without being swept away by conflict. Peace does not mean we do not have competing goals. It means that we harbor no conflicting feelings between those goals.
As we are celebrating Rosh Hashana this year, we are looking to achieve harmony by respecting one another and unifying ourselves as a nation. A world without peace is a world where quarrels erupt, anger dominates, troubles abound, and conflict brews. Nations who suffer from a lack of peace have a lack of respect for the rights of others and are engaged in activities that contradict the values of others.
The Jewish people, who acknowledge G-d as their king, unify themselves as the Jewish nation and with the blasts of the Shofar are awakened to higher awareness. May G-d grant us all a year of prosperity, peace, and harmony, where respect is paramount, observed and practiced..