On Rosh Hashanah we celebrate the birthday of Adam — the first human being — created on the sixth day of Creation. The Talmud tells us that the reason Adam was created as a single human, as opposed to all the animals who were created in multitudes, is to teach us the inherent value of a single human being. At that moment of creation, Adam was all of humanity. Were something to happen to Adam at that moment, all of humanity would have been wiped off the face of the earth. And so it is with every human being, at all times — in each one of us lies the power of all humanity. So on this holiday we celebrate and have the energy to increase the power of each one of us. It is a time when the value and the influence of each person is as important as ever.

As the director of Project Pride, an addiction crisis center in Montreal, I see the pain and loneliness of each addict struggling to recover. I hear these questions repeatedly: “Does what I do really matter? Does G‑d know me? Does He care?” These questions are a symptom of a general intimacy problem that I find in people who are suffering from addiction and isolation. People who are “intimacy challenged” find it difficult to connect with others on a deep level, and find it hard to believe that anyone would want to have a relationship with them. To think that G‑d Himself would even know of me, let alone want to have a relationship with me, is unthinkable for someone who is not used to being in a two-way healthy relationship.

The story of Rosh Hashanah and the history of Creation tell us otherwise. G‑d not only desires to have a world with people, G‑d wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. He desires that we create a home for Him here—in this physical world and in our hearts. He trusts us to fulfill His deepest desire here on earth.

On Rosh Hashanah eve, the world waits for His presence. The Creator retreats into the innermost part of His being. It is there, in that most intimate of places, that the essence of the Jewish people enters through their prayers. Once there, the moment is so holy, and the closeness so deep, that G‑d allows Himself to be compelled to reinvest in our relationship in an even greater way.

So, do we really matter? Does G‑d really care? The answer is a resounding "Yes!" It is easier said than felt, especially for those challenged with addiction. But, if I take the next right step towards opening myself up to G‑d, I am on my way to an understanding of just how much G‑d cares.