Message from the Rabbi

Rabbi-ChriquiThere is no doubt that the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, controls, governs and directs every aspect of Creation from birth to death, health, wealth and sustenance.
Every star, sun, planet and solar system is enlivened and exists by His word and will. Every leaf and every ant is sustained by His Divine direction and every creature exists by His love and kindness. To what extent then do we play a role in defining our own destiny and future? We know that the Almighty granted man the gift of free choice.

So great is this gift that the Torah itself likens this to being created in the likeness of G-d Himself and only man has this gift of free choice. This free choice allows for man to choose between right and wrong, between the Holy and profane, morality or crassness.

Man has the ability to lift himself to immeasurable spiritual heights or descend to the abyss of immorality and subversion.

This ability is the gift of G-d to man that empowers him to be a partner to Creation, completing and refining the world. However, an important philosophical question begs to be asked.

How far reaching is this free choice of man? Can we choose to be healthy, can we choose the length of our years, can we choose to live long or be prosperous, and can we choose to bear children? We know from experience that such is not the case.

In fact, the majority of our lives seem to be totally out of our control. Indeed, the sages say everything is in the Hands of Heaven except the Fear of Heaven; this means our actions, our deeds, our choice of lifestyle and attitudes are in our hands. Everything else is by Divine decree.

If so, what point is there for us to gather in synagogues and houses of prayer on Rosh Hashanah and pray for our future health, life and sustenance? Can we alter the Divine decree? The answer is an obvious resounding yes.

By altering our own choices that we have made previously and changing them for the good, we can alter the Divine choices that G-d has made and alter them for the good. We can indeed pray to G-d to inscribe us in the Book of Life, Sustenance and Health and, so to speak, create a new Divine will.

This is the meaning to our requests “Let it be the Divine will that we be blessed with such and such…” For this reason we are encouraged to pour out our hearts when we are in pain, suffering or sad. For this reason we feel confident to turn to G-d to harken our prayers and grant us blessings and salvation every day, but especially during the High Holidays; the time that G-d judges our worthiness and that of the world.

We too can judge our world, our lives and our homes determining whether the choices we have made truly reflect our inner soul’s desire and the will the Almighty has destined for us as a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and a member of the chosen nation.

Being a member of the chosen nation does not only entail the merit of G-d choosing us but the responsibility of us choosing G-d.

By making new and concrete resolutions for the coming year, to be more connected to G-d and His will, we have the power to draw down added blessings and salvation.

We have the power to effectively inscribe ourselves in the Book of Life and Sustenance.
Ever since G-d created the heaven and earth and uttered the Hebrew words of Creation, these very words continue to resonate throughout history, infusing the world with G-d’s Holiness and purpose. These words echo throughout the world, but are predominantly to be found in the Torah.

It is for this reason that the words of Torah, Tefillin and Mezzuzot are so significant for they contain the secret formula of creation.

It is for this reason that we must be very particular to ensure the kosher validity of every letter in the Torah and our Tefillin and Mezzuzot.
Any word or letter change can alter the configuration of heaven and earth and affect the Divine flow of blessings. Rosh Hashanah is the Anniversary of when G-d recited these Holy words.

It is a time to reconnect to these Holy words embedded in the Torah. What better way to start the New Year by endeavouring to check our Mezzuzot and Tefilllin, to ensure they are strictly kosher and that every doorway has a kosher Mezzuza, and ensuring that the Divine blessings, flow uninterruptedly by donning Tefillin every day.

What better way to start the New Year by refreshing our attachment to the letters of Creation that were, and are, responsible for life and blessings, by purchasing a word, column or parashah in our new 50th Anniversary Commemorative Sefer Torah, effectively inscribing ourselves and our children in the very letters and words that bring Divine blessings? I invite you all to feel a part of our past and inscribe your part in the future of the Synagogue by participating in this Holy endeavour.

No doubt it will bring added blessing to us all for the coming New Year. Please find enclosed a Sefer Torah card for you to kindly fill in and return to the synagogue office.
May we merit to greet this new addition to our synagogue with joy and blessings. Wishing you and your family to be inscribed in the Book of Life with health and all blessings.
I pray for your health and wellbeing. Tizku Lenshanim Rabbot.

Rabbi Chriqui