For most people, Rosh Hashanah brings up immediate memories of brisket and fancy clothes. In my Chassidic community, we talk most about a different aspect of this Holy Day. Rosh Hashanah is the time when we renew our commitment to G‑d, and crown Him once again as our King. Have you ever been to a coronation? Most of us think of coronation as something we watch on television, not really something that we personally experience. But, when I asked this question to a friend in recovery, he told me that he tries to attend one as often as possible. Where does he go?

At most 12-step meetings, the serenity prayer is recited, followed by: "Thy will, not mine, be done." (from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions page 41). My friend says this prayer whenever he is faced with any situation where he is not sure what G‑d wants from him. By allowing G‑d's will to take over he is crowning G‑d as his King. And then I realized that every time I am faced with a decision of any kind, I am about to crown G‑d as my King. I pause and I ask for guidance. And then I think: Will the outcome of this decision further my agenda or a Higher one? When the higher agenda becomes the motivating factor; well, then I just attended a coronation once again.

So, on a good day, I could be at this royal banquet many times. Knowing why I do things, being clear what is G‑d’s will, and then turning it over to Him is a process which I can use for a lifetime. This process is the greatest use of my ability of free choice. It’s better than self-sacrifice – it’s the sacrifice of my will. Every situation becomes an opportunity to challenge myself – to ask myself the question: "Who is really the boss?"

Chassidic masters have taught that our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were "chariots" of G‑d. They were so totally surrendered to G‑d's will, that they were comparable to a chariot that is being pulled and driven by a horse, but has absolutely no input as to the direction, destination or speed of the journey. This translates to mean that they were the guests at the coronation – guests who never left.

In Ethics of our Fathers, Rabban Gamliel says: “Make that His will should be your will, so that He should make your will to be as His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He should nullify the will of others before your will.” When I shared this teaching with my recovery friend, he exclaimed: "Wait a second! That's exactly what I am talking about! That's the 3rd step."

And that's what Rosh Hashanah is truly about. See you at the coronation.