Rosh Hashana celebrates the anniversary of God’s creation of human beings. According to rabbinic tradition, the first people came into existence in the Garden of Eden 5,780 years ago when God took earth, shaped in the divine image and breathed into it the God’s breath of life.
As modern people who affirm the truth of our origins uncovered by science, we know that the earth is many billions of years old and that human life evolved gradually over eons, culminating in the emergence of Homo sapiens about 300,000 years ago. Nonetheless, each year at this season, Jews across the world continue to celebrate the ancient anniversary of creation. We do so because we understand that while the Biblical creation story is unscientific, it nonetheless embodies profound truths about what it means to be human.
As we begin a New Year, let us resolve to respond to the divine breath within us and recommit ourselves to leading lives of righteousness and kindness that reflect the intentions of our creator and fulfill the promise of our creation. If we do so, I am confident that we will be blessed, with a sweet, joyous and fulfilling New Year.
Warmflash is the spiritual leader of the Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Centre