Members of the Jewish community encouraged to find good in people
Published: Oct 10, 2013
As the members of the Jewish community in The Bahamas joined Jews around the world in welcoming in the Jewish New Year known as Rosh Hashanah, they were encouraged to be “lamp-lighters” and to find the good in every person.
The 80-member community gathered together last month to mark the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, during which time Rabbi Sholom Bluming, of Chabad of The Bahamas, spoke to them about forging a relationship with God, and relationships in their lives. And he told them that prayer is their relationship with God and that He wants to hear from his people, and that he cares about what they have to say.
"We are all created in the image of God and as such, every human being has virtues, coupled with immense untapped potential. If we can harness and tap into the goodness in others, we will discover the hidden pleasures of their souls and the special attributes that we never knew they had,” said Bluming.
Adding that people are excited at the chance to start anew, and welcome a new year of blessings and opportunities, and as they did so, Bluming reminded them to reflect on their relationships with people around them — their families, friends and their community.
“Let us resolve to love more, and to care more, to give more and to cherish more. Let us seek out the virtues and the good in others. As we come closer to the other, so we come closer to God. Befriend another and you have a friend in God,” said Bluming.
Rosh Hashanah began at sundown on Wednesday, and continued until sunset on Friday, September 6.
Yom Kippur, known as the Day of Atonement, begins at sundown on Friday, September 13.
“The Jewish New Year celebrates the birth of the world and of mankind. Today, more than ever, people are looking for a deeper purpose. Rosh Hashanah is an opportune time for all to reconnect to their spirituality,” said the leader of the Nassau Jewish community.
Bluming explained the similarities between the popular traditions of the New Year on January 1 and Rosh Hashanah.
“While many people use New Year’s as a day to make resolutions, the Jewish New Year is all about introspection, looking back at our past year and renewing our commitment to goodness and kindness as we move forward,” he said.
The Jewish holiday has a universal message for all of mankind. Bluming said that Rosh Hashanah is a time for people to look in the mirror and ask themselves what they can do to make the world a better and brighter place.
“One of the central observances of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the Shofar, a ram’s horn. A total of 100 notes are sounded on both days of the holiday. The cry of the Shofar is the call to an awakening. It is to remind us that we have reached a new beginning, and a time for positive renewal,” he said.
Another popular Rosh Hashanah tradition is to eat sweet foods, particularly apples dipped in honey.
“This represents our wishes for a sweet new year, filled with blessings and an abundance of good,” said the rabbi.
Round challah bread is served, to symbolize the circle of life, and the cycle of a new year.
Bluming hosted a community dinner and prayer services in honor of the holiday.
“During the Jewish New Year, the doors of Heaven are open to all. God accepts all of our prayers, and we hope and wish for a peaceful and joyful year,” the rabbi said.
|Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 21:05|