There seem to be many new beginnings on the Jewish calendar. First there’s Rosh Hashanah, the day when G‑d determines our fate for the rest of the year. Then there’s Yom Kippur, the day when our sins are forgiven, giving us a fresh start. And then there’s Shabbat Bereishit, when we read the first portion of Genesis. It is said that the way we conduct ourselves on Shabbat Bereishit will impact the entire year.
Shouldn’t all these new beginnings be rolled into one? Doesn’t it make sense to start the year, get a clean slate, and begin the Torah anew all on the same day?
Perhaps it takes time to really internalize the changes we are making during this time of year. It’s a process of soul-searching, resolving to align ourselves with our higher selves, and then actually translating that resolve into action. And Shabbat Bereishit is the culmination of that process. Shabbat Bereishit demands of us, “Have the High Holidays really changed you? Now that you’re returning to your daily life, will you carry that inspiration and allow it to permeate the mundanity?”
How have the High Holidays impacted you? Let us know in the comments section below!
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team