On Rosh Hashanah, Jews worldwide flock to their synagogues and beseech the Almighty to grant them, their families, and all of Israel a peaceful, happy and prosperous year. According to Jewish tradition, on Rosh Hashanah every creation passes before the Supernal Judge. He determines who will live and who will not, who will be prosperous and healthy and who will not. Everything which will occur in the coming year is decided on Rosh Hashanah.

Why is everything determined on an annual basis? Can’t an eternal and infinite G‑d plan a little further in advance? Would it not be more time- and energy-efficient to judge perhaps a hundred or a thousand years at once?

Why is everything determined on an annual basis? Can’t an eternal and infinite G‑d plan a little further in advance?Rosh Hashanah commemorates the sixth day of Creation, the day when G‑d formed Adam and Eve and breathed into their nostrils the breath of life. An understanding of the dynamic of creation will explain the significance of Rosh Hashanah.

Certain things are taken for granted. For example, when we turn on a sink faucet, we expect and assume that water will emerge from the tap. Or, a child in most households who opens the refrigerator expects to find food on its shelves. In truth, however, neither the water nor the food appear on their own. There is a well-staffed company which maintains the water pipes and pumps necessary to draw water from the reservoir into the residential home, and parents invest incredible energy to stock the refrigerator.

The same is true with creation. It seems that the world stands on its own. We assume that that which existed a moment ago will continue existing a moment later. But, in fact, the Creator is perpetually maintaining the cosmos. In the absence of the steady flow of divine energy, all would cease to exist, much as the water in the tap would stop flowing if the water company went under.

And every once in a while, or once a year to be more precise, G‑d loses interest in His creation pastime. We were created because G‑d desired to be a beneficent king, and consequently we, His subjects, came into being: creatures upon whom G‑d could heap His otherwise unused infinite capacity for kindness. But at the onset of every year’s Rosh Hashanah, G‑d loses interest, as it were, in His finite and flawed subjects. He withdraws, becomes introverted, and we need to provide Him with an incentive to continue creating for one more year.

This isn’t because He has a short attention span and habitually loses interest in projects before they reach completion. Rather, this phenomenon is part and parcel of the master plan.

When G‑d originally created this world, there was nothing which elicited that grand gesture. There was no one around yet to elicit anything; it was an act of pure kindness. But ultimately, “pure kindness” isn’t so kind after all. It leaves its beneficiary feeling unworthy of undeserved beneficence. That’s why G‑d created a world wherein everything, even our existence itself, is rightfully earned. If the world will remain in existence for another year, it will be because we stimulated G‑d’s desire to continue on course.

“Pure kindness” isn’t so kind after all. It leaves its beneficiary feeling unworthy . . .Thus, on Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of our creation, it is up to us to ensure that everything continues.

We go to the synagogue and proclaim, “Reign over the entire world in Your glory.” We “remind” G‑d of His love for His chosen people, reaccept Him as our absolute King, and express our innermost desire to serve Him for yet another year. We “remind” Him of the enthusiasm He originally had when creating the world almost 6,000 years ago.

And when words fail us, due their inherent inability to communicate the deepest heartfelt feelings, we take a shofar, a medium whose simple weeping notes convey the wordless cry and request which emanates from the core of our souls—“Father, King, we need You and love You, and we know that the feelings are mutual!”

This Rosh Hashanah, as we congregate in the synagogues, let us bear in mind that what hangs in the balance in the coming year is more than our personal welfare. All of creation is counting on us. Let us wholeheartedly commit ourselves to G‑d, and He will surely reciprocate by committing to grant all of us a beautiful and meaningful year.