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Forgive US

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FORGIVE US, RENEW US

 

We drift, we repent, and we renew. 

 

The arrival of Rosh Hashanah (this year on my wife’s birthday) is a reminder of the universality of the Moral Law, its origins in the Creator of All That Is, and of our shared human frailty.

 

Jewish Year 5770 begins at sunset on September 18, 2009 through nightfall September 20, 2009. 

 

Since the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, Rosh Hashanah is to be celebrated for two days, as a day of rest (Lev. 23:24) and moral renewal. 

 

Rosh Hashanah is accompanied/announced by the blowing of the shofar.  This is intended to awaken the gathered and alert them to the coming judgment. 

 

On the first night of Rosh Hashanah after the evening prayer, it is customary to wish Leshana Tova Tikoseiv Veseichoseim (Le'Alter LeChaim Tovim U'Leshalom) – “May you immediately be inscribed and sealed for a Good Year and for a Good and Peaceful Life”.

 

All who love life take note.  This is a universal call.

 

I note from the Bhagavad Gita, “Two Paths”:

 

1.  “Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination to the spiritual life....  Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all....

 

6.  “Some people have divine tendencies, other demonic....”

 

7. “The demonic do things they should avoid and avoid the things they should do.   They have no sense of uprightness, purity or truth.”

 

8. “‘There is no God’, they say, no spiritual law, no moral order.’....”

 

{Trans. Eknath Easwaran, © 1985 Blue Mountain Center of Meditation}

 

 

I also note from the Book of Common Prayer (American Anglican/Episcopalian)

 

“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.”

 

And, as I’ve noted in earlier writings, the biblical shema, the obligation to love G-d with all one’s heart, mind and strength [Deuteronomy 6:4-5 “And you shall love the lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and all your might.” [V-ahavta et Adonai Elohecha b-chol l’vavcha u-v-chol m’odecha.], is perfectly coherent within Judaism and Christianity. 

 

In Mark’s gospel, for example (12:28-30 28), we find this passage:

 

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

 

“‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”  

 

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The Creator of the universe has given us the Moral Law, without which human life would indeed be “nasty, brutish and short.” 

 

Whatever our differences, I believe that our faith touches the same Law and invites us to enter the same Dialogic.  [http://www.jaygaskill.com/i2i.htm ]

 

To all who are within the reach of the Moral Law:  May we awaken, repent and renew our deepest connections to each other and to the deeper Truth that binds us; may we all have a good year and a good and peaceful life.

 

JBG

 

 

 

 


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