One thing that I am always conscious of is every day miracles and things that look like coincidence, but they are not, they are the magic of life. Another way to say it is revealed good, it is all around us, and when we take a moment to notice how amazing everything works, fits, goes, then it is possible to live in a grateful, present state. Every year I feel like I learn something new in every Jewish holiday, and especially this year, I keep on hearing the most amazing things about Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and I wanted to share.
One of my friends wrote this morning that her father explained to her why we wish each other a sweet new year ahead:
because sweet is a taste and taste is always subjective. My sweet may not be your sweet! May we all have a sweet new year!
My mother also wrote me a deep explanation of why we use a ram’s horn to blow the Shofar, and amazing facts on how the world used to be before monotheism, human sacrifice was the norm, people worshiped idols and nature, and so much more. The world was not always as we know it now, and some things may not make sense in today’s context, but when you delve deeper, it is about human nature, good versus evil inclination, and always looking for the light, enjoy the details:
“we blow shofar in honor of the Ram, which showed up in the bushes on the top of the Mt. Moriah to save Isaac’s life. We must remember that both Abraham and Isaac were humble and determined mature men; they climbed upon that mountain willingly to express their unconditional faith and surrender to God’s will.
19 generations prior to the birth of Abraham, God cursed Kain the Farmer for killing his brother Abel the Shepherd. Kain went away from the family and became a builder. I asked, “Why Torah praises ancient Hebrew nomads living and praying in Tents while pagan settlers’ tradition of building permanent houses is strongly disapproved?” The answer was mind-blowing: each pagan sacrificed his firstborn son to bury his body in the foundation of the future house. Since God renamed Abram into Abraham and Sarai into Sarah, it has proclaimed in the Bible that there should be no such thing as human sacrifices in Judaism. The act of renaming showed that the Matriarchal system gave way to the Patriarchal rule (it demonstrated in numerical value of their Biblical names.)
Nations surrounding the tribe of Abraham Ha-Ivri (the Hebrews) idolized animals, proclaimed them their gods and carved their statues along with amulets to worship them. Later in history, Israelites’ desire to build the Temple was highly praised; there was no human sacrifices in their tradition.
Some people are ignoring historical perspective and express their negative judgment of our Jerusalem Temple days with its bloody animal sacrifices. If you go down the spiral history time, you will realize that when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his firstborn, it was typical for pagans to sacrifice their firstborn sons. It sounds strange to us now that instead, those idol-worshippers put animal gods on their pedestals. Jewish Priests and Levites taught Israelites how to kill kosher animals humanly to minimize their suffering. By sacrificing kosher animals, Israelites demonstrated to the surrounding pagan nations that mortal animals are God’s creatures but not gods.
Abraham and Isaac did not tell Sarah why they needed to go to the Mt. Moriah. When they came down, Ishmael was greeting them. The servants ran to give good news to Sarah. As an old mother of an only child, she collapsed and died. She was completely unaware of the cruel commandment given to her husband and son.
When we speak of a modern day conflict between Muslims and Jews, we should remember that Isaac and Ishmael made brotherly peace to the genuine satisfaction of Abraham. Unfortunately, Sarah never had a chance to forgive and embrace Hagar; her sudden death robbed her and Hagar of that opportunity. As Sarah’s descendants, it is our Jewish mothers’ mission to help Muslim sisters suppressed by their cruel Patriarchal tradition to teach their militant sons the ways of peaceful coexistence and to embrace Life instead of glorifying Death.”
Thank you mom,
Wishing Everyone Revealed Good!