Jewish High Holidays by Robert Socha
There are so many things going on in the world that vie for our attention and give us reason to be angry, frustrated, hopeless, and confused. It begs me to consider changing my thinking for a moment and not feeding my spirit and my soul with the constant negativity but feeding it with Thanksgiving.
This past Sunday, September 25th, 2022, marks Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. It is a time of repentance, reflection, leaving previous things behind, and looking forward to a new year full of life. The ten days of repentance that mark Rosh Hashanah end with the holiday Yom Kippur which will be celebrated this year in the Gregorian calendar for 25 hours from the evening of October 5th to the evening of October 6th. As I understand it, Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar because it is a day of atonement. It is a day of fasting, prayer, confession, and repentance, atoning for the sins revealed through the last ten days of reflection.
The psalmist ended Psalm 139 with this introspective desire: “Search me O God and know my heart, try me and know my anxieties, and see if there’s any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way Everlasting.” I wonder what change we could affect if there were a nationwide, nay worldwide, effort to search the deepest regions of our hearts and look for those hardened areas that need to offer forgiveness. Of ourselves for our failures and misgivings, the forgiveness of others, especially those who have hurtfully wronged us, and then, most importantly, receiving forgiveness from God through a deep and sincere prayer of repentance.
Oh, what joy would fill the earth if we treated this holiday with sincerity and purpose? The bitterness that’s rotting people’s bones would lift, bringing healing to the nations. The anger and wrathful vengeance perpetrated on those weaker and those who have wronged us would subside. I could see relationships mended, families reconciled, and joy and laughter resounding In every household.
Therefore, I desire to challenge myself, my family, and you, dear reader, to spend these next seven days searching, seeking, praying, repenting, and looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith. Hopefully, there will come a peace passing all understanding, knowing you have eternal Hope and a hand in ushering in the return of the King of kings!
G’mar Hatima Tova (May your name be sealed in the book of life).
About the Author
Robert Socha, BIO Robert Socha (so-ha), was born in southern California. He served 5 years 3 months active duty in the United States Air Force; honorably. After his service he took an Associate’s Degree in Practical Theology, where, through his studies, developed a deep love of God and Country and sincere appreciation of the value of Liberty. Robert and his beloved wife of 21-plus years are raising 4 beautiful Texan children. They moved to Hillsdale, Michigan, in 2013, to put their children in Hillsdale Academy. Robert is a sales professional. He and his wife consider Michigan a hidden gem, and absolutely love this city and state (current political environment notwithstanding) they’ve adopted.