From Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur

From Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur, we recite special passages during the Amidah prayers, asking G-d to inscribe us, “In the Book of Life, blessing, peace, prosperity, deliverance, consolation and favourable decrees.”

In the Modim prayer, recited three times daily, we thank G-d, “For our lives which are committed in your hand, and for our souls which are entrusted to You, for your miracles which are with us daily.”

On Rosh Hashana, we ask first and foremost to be inscribed in the Book of Life and good health. In the hustle bustle of day-to-day life, our priorities may at times become distorted and we sometimes forget to appreciate the miracle called “life” which G-d grants us every second of every day.

A chassid once came to his Rebbe complaining that he had a bad year financially. The Rebbe asked him, “How is your health and the health of your family?”

The chassid replied that health was, thank G-d, good. The Rebbe told him to have trust in G-d and quoted him the words of the Talmud, “He Who gives life will surely provide sustenance!”

The Rebbe went on to explain the words of the Talmud with the following parable, “A wealthy businessman was travelling home from the fair and had with him a large sum of money. The way home was long and for Shabbat, he stopped at an inn run by a Jewish innkeeper. As it is not permitted to carry money on Shabbat, the businessman entrusted his wallet of money to the innkeeper for safekeeping until after Shabbat. The wallet contained 5,000 rubles plus 5 pennies.

“All Shabbat the businessman was worried whether the innkeeper was trustworthy and will he return his money. Immediately after Shabbat, he asked for his wallet which the innkeeper returned. The merchant quickly went back to his room to count the money. He counted the rubles and found the 5,000 rubles intact.”

The Rebbe now turned to his chassid and said, “Do you think that after seeing that the innkeeper was honest and gave back the 5000 rubles, would the businessman be worried if he kept the five pennies? Only a fool would suspect the innkeeper of not giving back the five pennies!”

“The same is with you,” concluded the Rebbe. “G-d gave you and your family life and health which is worth far more than anything else in the world. Don’t you think that you can also trust Him to give you your livelihood? If you have true faith that G-d gives you life and health, you will automatically have faith that He will bless you in your dealings and will provide you with your livelihood as well. For, “He Who gives life will surely give sustenance!”