L’shana Tova — Ketivah vi-chatima Tova

Rosh Hashana begins today at sundown. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. The Jewish New Year is celebrated by reflecting upon the past, correcting one’s mistakes, planning for the future, praying for a healthy and sweet year and celebrating with holiday meals.

Rabbi Nachum Braverman teaches us that “On Rosh Hashana we make an accounting of our year and we pray repeatedly for life. How do we justify another year of life? What did we do with the last year? Has it been a time of growth, of insight and of caring for others? Did we make use of our time, or did we squander it? Has it truly been a year of life, or merely one of mindless activity? This is the time for evaluation and rededication. The Jewish process is called ‘teshuva,’ coming home – recognizing our mistakes between ourselves and God as well as between ourselves and our fellow man and then correcting them.

Here are some questions to think about on Rosh Hashana, consolidated by Rabbi Kalman Packouz:

1. When do I most feel that my life is meaningful?
2. How often do I express my feelings to those who mean the most to me?
3. Are there any ideals I would be willing to die for?
4. If I could live my life over, would I change anything?
5. What would bring me more happiness than anything else in the world?
6. What are my three most significant achievements since last Rosh Hashana?
7. What are the three biggest mistakes I’ve made since last Rosh Hashana?
8. What project or goal, if left undone, will I most regret next Rosh Hashana?
9. If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I undertake to accomplish in my life?
10. What are my three major goals in life? What am I doing to achieve them? What practical steps can I take in the next two months toward these goals?
11. If I could give my children only three pieces of advice, what would they be?
12. What is the most important decision I need to make this year?
13. What important decision did I avoid making last year?
14. What did I do last year that gave me the strongest feeling of self-respect?
15. When do I feel closest to God?
16. Do I have a vision of where I want to be one, three and five years from now?
17. What are the most important relationships in my life? Over the last year did those relationships become closer and deeper or was there a sense of stagnation and drifting? What can I do to nurture those relationships this year?
18. If I could change only one thing about myself, what would that be?
19. If I could change one thing about my spiritual life, what would it be?

“L’shana Tova — Ketivah vi-chatima Tova.” This means “For a good year — You should be written and sealed in the good (Book of Life).”

I wish to all of my readers L’shana Tova.

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