As we begin the New Year 5779

As we begin the new year, 5779, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Shana Tova – a wonderful, joyous, healthy, sweet and successful year.

May G-d answer all our prayers, for ourselves, our families, for Klal Yisrael and for the entire world. May G-d fulfil our prayers.

There are ten days from the first day of Rosh Hashana to Yom Kippur. They are called, “Aseret Yemai Teshuva” – “Ten days of repentance.” Our sages tell us that on Rosh Hashana the verdict for the New Year is written. However, it is not sealed until the end of Yom Kippur. Thus, even a harsh decree, G-d forbid, may still be nullified between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

In the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur prayers we read that “Teshuva (repentance), Tefilah (prayer) and Tzedakah (charity) annul a severe decree.” Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it is important that we perform more mitzvot, especially the mitzvah of Tzedakah, giving more charity. By helping others in their time of need, we too will be granted our needs for the new year.

A parable worth repeating: A person who lived all his life in the big city decided one day to become a farmer. He bought a parcel of land and went to live on the farm. Knowing that his success depends on rain, he prayed fervently for rain. His prayers were answered and much rain descended on the fields. Now he was sure that his field would yield much fruits and vegetables. Yet, a while later, when he checked his field, to his dismay, he found only weeds. His disappointment became even greater when he saw that all his neighbours’ fields were indeed filled with beautiful fruits and vegetables.

In despair, he approached one of his neighbours, “My field had the same amount of rain as yours. My field had the same sunshine as yours. My field is even the same size as yours, yet mine didn’t yield any fruit while yours did. Can you explain to me what happened?”

“The answer is simple!” explained the neighbour. “G-d’s blessings are effective when we do what is expected of us. I planted and fertilized my field, so now G-d’s blessing of rain has brought forth wonderful fruits. You, however, didn’t do anything in your field. All you did was pray, but you didn’t do anything to cultivate G-d’s blessings. How can you expect His blessings to bear fruit?”

The same is true with our prayers. On Rosh Hashana, we ask G-d to grant us everything we need in the coming year, but that is not enough. We have to do our part. The Tzedakah and good deeds we perform are the seeds we sow in order for G-d’s blessings to take effect.

Now, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is the most appropriate time to begin planting! Moshiach NOW!!!