In six days the Al-mighty created the heavens, the earth, and the earth’s inhabitants. According to the Sages, creation commenced on the 25th day of Elul and six days later, Adam, the first man, was created (see Vayikra Rabbah 29:1).

Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of Adam, the first man and the ancestor of humanity. Accordingly, this singular anniversary was designated to serve as the perennial day of judgment for Adam’s descendants throughout the generations. On this day Adam’s children should reflect and contemplate whether man, as he evolved throughout history, has justified the hopes and aspirations of his Creator.

One of the main distinguishing features in the creation of man is that, unlike all other species, which were created in large numbers, he was created single. This indicates emphatically that one single individual has the capacity to bring the whole of creation to fulfillment. Adam, following his creation, single-handedly rallied all creatures in the world to recognize the sovereignty of the Creator. When Adam was created, all creatures who saw him were gripped with fear and bowed to him in mistaken belief, that he, Adam, had created them. Adam said to them, “Do not think I created you. ‘Come, let us worship and bow down before Hashem our Maker’” (Psalms 95:6) (see Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 11).

Adam, the first man, was the prototype and example for every individual to follow. Every Jew — regardless of the time, the place, and his personal status — has the capacity to rise and attain the highest degree of fulfillment and to elevate the entire creation.

Rosh Hashanah — the anniversary of the creation of the first human — disproves the contention of those who sit idle and follow the tide with the excuse that it is impossible for one person to change the world. Many of us give up when it comes to introducing more Yiddishkeit into our neighborhood, into our children’s homes, or even into our own lives. Perhaps we feel that there is no chance to add more Yiddishkeit to the curriculum of our children’s schools and therefore we do nothing. We do this saying, “es iz farfalen, men ken garnit tan” — “It is a lost case, nothing can be done about it.”

The message of Rosh Hashanah is that each and every Jew has tremendous potential, and with sincere efforts he can improve and elevate himself, his family, society, and even the entire world.

(לקוטי שיחות ח"ט)