Setting the stage for a year of abundance. * G-d promises vindication for the Jewish people on Rosh Hashanah. * On the Hayom Yom entry for Elul 25.
Consider this: What if the assurance of a good year ahead didn't come from our own prayers or deeds, but from a divine blessing that precedes even the start of the year?
The Hayom Yom for Elul 25 discusses the unique characteristic of the month of Tishrei as the seventh month of the Festival Calendar. Unlike other months, Tishrei receives a divine blessing directly from G-d on the last Shabbat of Elul, empowering the Jewish people to bless the other months. This divine blessing resonates in the Torah-reading "You stand today" promising that despite Rosh Hashanah being a day of judgment, the community will "stand" upright and be vindicated. The key takeaway is that divine assurance and blessings pave the way for a prosperous year ahead for the Jewish community.
This focal point raises a question: How does this divine assurance manifest in our lives and how can we tap into it?
The Talmud teaches, "A person's sustenance is as difficult [to provide] as the splitting of the Red Sea" (Pesachim 118a). It may be difficult for us to perceive how this sustenance is provided, but the promise is there in the blessing of Tishrei. We can look to the writings of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad Hasidism, who explains that divine providence is deeply interconnected with individual actions and intentions. Your sustenance and blessing are assured; the work lies in preparing yourself to receive them.
In today's world, we often focus on our own efforts—our hustle, our planning, our network—as the basis for our success. While these efforts have their place, they shouldn't overshadow the fundamental belief in the divine blessing that precedes the year, sustains us, and assures us of vindication.
To bring this lesson home, let's think of our daily lives as vessels for receiving divine blessings. When you sit down for a job interview, give a presentation, or face any challenging situation, remember that you're not just relying on your own skills or preparation. You're also tapping into a deeper, divine source of blessing that has been with you since before the year even began.
So, as we approach Rosh Hashanah, let's not only engage in self-reflection and resolution-making. Let's also open ourselves to the blessings already set in motion, allowing them to fill our lives and sustain us throughout the year. After all, the assurance of divine favor isn't just an ancient teaching—it's an ever-relevant guide for how to live our lives today, and it's a source of optimism for the times to come.