We love guest posting idea! We are also excited to host popular bloggers on aJudaica.com blog. We will feature bloggers from all over the world, each sharing with us their area of specialty.Ā 

This tradition begins today! šŸ™‚

We’re happy to introduceĀ Ruchi Koval, the mind and soul behind her own great blogĀ www.outoftheorthobox.comĀ and here are some of her thoughts about Rosh Hashanah:

There’s a really haunting phrase that we say in the Rosh Hashanah prayers: “May the year and its curses end; may the new year and its blessings begin.”

As I mentally scan the year, I shudder to think of all the curses we suffered. The most prominent of all is, of course, the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli boys and the following Gaza war. Personally, as well, each person experiences his or her owndifficulties and we hope, prayerfully, that Rosh Hashanah will usher out the era of difficulties and usher in a new era of joy, health, peace, and good news. You know how sometimes you’re having a really bad day? Some days it just starts off bad and stays that way, one thing after goodmorninganother, all day. So what’s the best thing to do on those days? GO TO BED EARLY. Just end it ASAP, and start again. Now here’s the question. Why should things be any better tomorrow? I don’t ask this to be depressing, but rather to honestly assess: why should tomorrow be any better than today, and by extension, why should the new year be any better than this year?

Here’s the truth. There’s something refreshing about a new start – even if nothing has actually changed. I always feel better when I wake up in the morning. In Jewish literature, “night” always signifies hopelessness, lack of clarity, emotional darkness. “Day” always signifies hope, a fresh start, moral and spiritual clarity, and joy. Somehow, things seem better in the morning. What a gift, then, that God has given us the concept of renewal. We have renewal each day, each week, each month, and each year. God could easily have arranged the world so that one day morphs endlessly into the next in a mind-numbing loop. But (thankfully) He didn’t. Sometimes we complain that we need to sleep – what a waste of time! But if not for the gift of night, we wouldn’t ever have a fresh start. So too with Rosh Hashanah.

Why should the new year be better than the old one? Well, many reasons: one, we pray and do good deeds to earn it. Two, we’ve hopefully learned a thing or two from our mistakes of the previous year. And finally, things always look better in the morning. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and hopeful new year.