A Drash for Rosh HaShannah 5767
by Marc Mangel
Job writes “Man was born to toil”.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe responds “Being human means being productive”
We are together as a group to find ways to increase the
productivity of our Jewish lives as individuals. The three Ts for doing this are Teshuvah, Tefillah and Tzedaka.
Teshuvah means to return, not to repent for which there is a different word in Hebrew (charatah).
We are to return and find the essence of goodness in
Ourselves and in others – back to our roots in
Godliness and discovering them as our true character.
This is something we all can do, regardless of where we are on the Jewish path.
Tefillah is often interpreted as prayer; in Hebrew there is a different word for prayer (bakasha)– meaning supplications or requests. Tefillah means to attach oneself – to reach towards an attachment to God. This is also something we all can do, regardless of where we are on the Jewish path.
Tzedaka means righteousness or justice, not charity for which there is a different word in Hebrew (chesed). The Rebbe says Tzedaka “transforms matter into spirit; it turns a coin into fire” and the Psalmist “Happy are they who give tzedaka at all times”. We give tzedaka as a duty to God and and as justice to those who are in need.This is also something we can all do, regardless of Where we are on the Jewish path
The productivity of our Jewish lives will make this a good and sweet year.
So let us remember Teshuvah: Seeing goodness. Tefillah: Seeking attachment beyond Ourselves and Tzedaka: Giving freely andgenerously