Rosh HaShanah is the day on which G-D created Man, Adam, G-D's final and most precious creation. Each Rosh HaShanah, the birthday of Mankind, we proclaim G-D as our one and true King.  We reaffirm our desire to serve Him every moment of our lives.

It is at this same time, that G-D opens His books and determines the future of each one of His creations.  It is the declaration of
G-D as King and Ruler of the Universe that makes this day so important in our calendar.  The Torah calls this day Yom Teruah,
the day of the trumpets.

The word for the sounding of the Trumpets, TERUA is rooted not in the sound of the Shofar but rather in the Hebrew word REAH, loving relationship.

That is the prime ingredient for in the process of Repentance.

One realizes that G-D is King and realizes the importance of maintaining a loving relationship with Him.

It has become our family tradition that prior to the holiday we try to find the appropriate book for each one of our children. 
The Rosh Hashana gift must mirror the Rosh Hashana message.  It must help each child on his or her voyage of discovery of that message.  Each child is a world unto themselves and each child has his or her own unique key into their soul.  It has become a beloved challenge to search that unique key on the bookshelves each year.

As I was searching through the bookshelves in the local book store, this year I suddenly felt myself weaken.

I closed my eyes and held back tears.

Most of the new books I had picked up were written in memory of some young man or woman who had been murdered by Palestinian terrorists.  On every shelf and about every topic and for every age, a book had been written in the memory of another terror victim.

I walked out of the shop in a daze.  All the names I had noticed in the forewords of these books were familiar to me.  The
numbers of victims should not have been surprising.  Yet the reminder was so stark and real.

The next morning as I got up for the pre-dawn slichot prayers, I was privately pleading with G-D that
His people want to be inscribed in the book of life and not into these books on the shelf.

As I walked, slowly to the synagogue in the dark cool pre-dawn morning, four young children rushed by me.  Four little children rushing to get to synagogue at 4:30 in the morning.  Four children that represent our future and our determined faith.

I stopped and watched them ... and I was comforted.

Moshe Kempinski
by Rabbi Moshe Kempinsky
JERUSALEM INSIGHTS #432 the Rosh Hashana issue
A journal of insights, stories and torah thoughts from Jerusalem's Old City a  project of Shorashim of the Old City
Tiferet Israel 3 - Jerusalem 97500 - tel:  011-972-2-628-9729
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