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New Year - Rosh Hashana Introspective Meditations

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שנה טובה ומאושרת - שנת שלום, שנת אושר בריאות והצלחה, כתיבה וחתימה טובה

Happy New Year - A Year of Peace, Happiness, Health and Success

May the sound of the Shofar shatter our complacency

And make us conscious of the corruptions in our lives.

May the sound of the Shofar enter our hearts;

For blessed is the people that hearkens to its call - by Hershel Matt.

Trancedental Meditation with "Blowing in the Wind" by



A Still Small Voice . . .

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According to Rebbe Nachman (1772-1810), the great grandson of the famous Hasidic rabbi the Baal Shem Tov, closeness to G-d was as natural as “speaking to your best friend.”  This informal and intimate relationship can be in a closed room or a private outdoor setting such as the forests and the fields. This type of meditation is called Hitbodedut

MEDITATIVE INSIGHTS

Rambam / Maimonides

Maimonides points to the need for constant self-scrutiny, as this is the only means by which one can know if he appropriately attends to others and truly feels pity for the weak.

Thus, man needs to inspect his moral habits continually, weigh his actions, and reflect upon the state of his soul every single day.

Menachem Mendel Schneerson, The Lubavitcher Rebbe

The universe has a soul. All that exists in the soul exists in space and in time.

In the cosmic soul there is a mind, a consciousness from which all conscious life extends.

In space, there is the Land of Israel, a space from where all space is nurtured.

In time, there is Rosh Hashanah, a time from which all time is renewed.

Rosh Hashanah, meaning Head of the Year. Not just a starting point, but a head. For whatever will transpire in the coming year is first conceived in these two days.

Carl Jung

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."

Franz Rosenzweig

“All cognition of the All originates in death, in the fear of death".

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues Inventory - Daily Charts

King Solomon

Wisdom & Virtue: Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honors; her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

Bible

The Jew is called upon to love his fellow Jew as himself (Lev. 19:18), to love the stranger as himself (Lev. 19:33, 34), and indeed to love all of God's creatures (Avot 1:12).

The rabbis generally referred to morality by the phrase bén adam le-ḥavero ("between man and his fellow man"), which was embraced in the term Derekh Erets ("ways of the world" or right conduct).

From various expressions by some of the most authoritative rabbis it could be inferred that morality was deemed one of the central components of Judaism:

Simon the Just

"Simon the Just said, 'The world stands on three things: Torah, Avodah ("Divine service"), and acts of Loving-Kindness'" (Avot 1:2).

Hillel

Hillel said, "What is hateful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. This is the entire Torah, the rest is commentary. Go and study" (Shab. 31a).

In Judaism, the realm of morality is not restricted to deed but rather includes man's inner world of consciousness: thoughts, emotions, intentions, attitudes, motives. All are to a degree subject to man's control and qualify for moral judgment.

Thus the Bible warns-:

  • against coveting (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18),
  • against hating one's brother (Lev. 19:17),
  • against "hardening one's heart" (Deut. 15:9, 10),
  • while the rabbis inveighed against envy, desire, and anger (Avot 2:11)
  • and noted that "thinking about transgression may be worse than transgression itself" (Yoma 29a).

Maharal of Prague - Judah Loew

Only in the 16th century, however, did Judah Löw of Prague make explicit that the religious and spiritual aspects of morality do not stem merely from its being commanded by God. The connection is actually more substantive, since the most that has ever been revealed to man of God is His moral nature.

Thus, only by acting morally does man walk in the ways of God and imitate Him, thereby attaining his Divine image.

Moral action is the most direct way of cleaving to God and entering into fellowship with Him.

Cruelty and injustice distance man from God, while kindness, love, and concern for his fellow man draw man closer.


Love and fear of God are themselves based on such moral sentiments as gratitude, justice, and responsibility.

Samson Raphael Hirsch

Samson Raphael Hirsch taught that "justice is the sum total of life and is the sole concept which the Torah seeks to interpret. The Torah teaches us justice towards men, justice towards plants and animals and the earth, justice towards our own body and soul, and justice towards God who created us for love so that we may become a blessing for the world."

Later Jewish thinkers who accorded a central role to morality in their philosophy of Judaism included Samuel David Luzzatto and Martin Buber.

Martin Buber

Martin Buber taught that the love of man is connected to the love of God in yet another sense: "Every particular Thou is a glimpse through to the eternal Thou; by means of every particular Thou, the primary work addresses the eternal Thou."

Steve Jobs - Apple

"If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right."

 

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.

  • Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
  • Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.
  • And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

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Biblical sensitivity to the harm as well as the good that could be done by speech was unprecedented:

  • "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21).
  • Man must be careful not to lie, curse or slander (Lev. 19:11, 14, 16),
  • Nor to receive a false report or speak evil (Ex. 23:1; Deut. 19:16-18).

The rabbis also condemned the use of flattery, hypocrisy, and obscene speech and urged the practice of clean, pleasant, and non-abusive language.

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ROSH HASHANA - JEWISH NEW YEAR MEDITATIONS

May the sound of the Shofar shatter our complacency And make us conscious of the corruptions in our lives. May the sound of the Shofar enter our hearts; For blessed is the people that hearkens to its call. - Hershel J. Matt

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Argentine-born composer Osvaldo Golijov was inspired by the sounds of the shofar in his composition, The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. Hear this selection on YouTube and read reviews and other comments in Hearing Shofar.

Rosh Hashana - Wikipedia

Exquisite Fruit Sculpture New Year Wishes Click link to see sculpture.

Bad Karma on the Kippur - YouTube - Curb your Enthusiasm - High Holiday Ticket Episode - Larry David

Rosh Hashanah New Year Experiment from Technion - Dipping the Apple in Honey

Rosh Hashana Rock

How to Fix Boring High Holiday Services? - Tablet Magazine