Ponder this. Do human beings favor consistency or change? Do we prefer that which is familiar, or something different and new?

Which would you prefer: dining at the same restaurant every night, or never eating at the same place twice? Growing old with the same set of furniture, or refurnishing your home every Sunday? Your trusted old Chevy from your college years, or a brand new vehicle every week?

My guess is—neither. We seem to want a change once in a while, but we also like to become comfortable with what is ours. Yes, when we're tired of the old car it's nice to get a new one; but for a while it actually feels nice holding on to "my" car. Vacations are wonderful when we need a change of scenery; nevertheless, there's no place like home.

Bottom line, we want a little bit of both: consistency and change, routine and excitement.

The Kabbalah teaches that these two characteristics in human nature derive from two distinct G‑dly energies invested into creation: the natural and the supernatural.

Which explains a striking duality in Judaism. When does the Jewish year begin? On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, or during the Hebrew month of Nissan (when Passover takes place) referred to in Torah as "the first of all months"?

Well, it's both. Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the year, while Nissan is the beginning of the months.

What does that mean? The root of the Hebrew word shanah - "year"--also means repetition. Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of Creation, is when we recognize G‑d as the Creator of the natural order of things, the continuous, perpetually-repeating cycle of life. Chodesh - the Hebrew word for "month"--also means newness. In this regard, the year begins in Nissan, which is related to the Hebrew word for miracle, for it was then that G‑d began showing us the supernatural side of our life as His people—splitting the sea, dropping bread from heaven, etc.

In our quest to satisfy both of these very different needs—consistency and change, normal living and fun and excitement—I think we have been quite successful in the former, but have failed miserably in the latter.

We've learned how to appreciate the security and comfort that comes with a committed relationship, a steady job and a productive daily routine. We have not been so successful in our attempt to satisfy our need for a rush of adrenaline. The entertainment industry is an excellent case in point. The creativity of last year's releases simply don't cut it anymore for this year. Every few years Hollywood has to reach new heights (or lows…) if it is going to keep us entertained and happy.

A good ride in a bumper car used to be enough excitement for the average amusement park visitor. Then it was the roller coaster, then the up-side-down-inside-out roller coaster, then the free fall, and that's still not enough. Today it's bungee jumping and mountain gliding. People are so desperate for a thrill that they're prepared to risk their very lives in the process. (I'm told that in some amusement parks in Israel they have the Shema displayed in big bold letters overlooking the bungee jumping site…)

How often do we come back from what promised to be an exotic vacation feeling rather empty, even depressed. We seem to know how to live. Why don't we know how to have fun?

The answer lies in understanding how these two contradictory impulses coexist within the human being. Why would one being possess two such opposite needs? It's because they actually come from two different life forces: the natural and the supernatural, the body and the soul. The body is a natural organism that craves order and normalcy. The soul, a literal spark of the Divine, is a boundless G‑dly energy, which gravitates upwards, craving holiness, freedom and transcendence.

It's no wonder that a movie or a fancy toy don't satisfy this need. It's not fun or lack of order that we're craving. Our quest is for something larger than life. What we're looking for is life's purpose, its meaning, its energy source. We're looking for G‑d...

During this month of Nissan, the season of Spring and renewal, when we seek to fulfill our soul's yearning for the outer-worldly and exciting, let's be sure to clearly identify what it is we're really looking for. It's not the once-in-a-lifetime vacation on some exotic island (that will end up costing more than our credit card will allow for) or that most unusual car that they only made 100 models of in 2009 that will satiate us. Our neshamah, our G‑d- given soul, is reaching upward. Rather than free fall, it yearns to rise ever higher; to transcend the confines of the material and bond with its Source.