Letter to the editor: Rosh Hashana a day for honoring our king

A Rosh Hashana holiday table with apples, honey and challah.
A Rosh Hashana holiday table with apples, honey and challah.

Rosh Hashana, literally meaning "head of the year," is exactly that; the Jewish New Year. And the ongoing theme in the prayers and traditions is crowning G-d as king.

We spend the day in prayer, in a place of awe and contemplation over the idea that G-d is restarting the world anew every year continuously. He is responsible for every breath we take. His presence fills our lives whether we feel Him or not.

On Rosh Hashana, we stop to reflect on Him, the source of all existence and sustenance, we thank Him, and we blow the shofar (akin to the trumpets blast at the coronation of a king) crowning Him and asking Him to continue recreating the world each day.

Coincidentally, as the Jewish people are in the process of inaugurating the king, Britain inaugurated King Charles III to the throne at the Accession Council.

From the queen’s passing alone, one can observe how the royal family is so looked up to and respected — but ultimately their power is dependent on the citizens of the United Kingdom. There is no monarchy that has no citizens. The proper royal etiquette and classy clothing that the royals wear are part and parcel of what their citizens expect them to do.

So too, our great and ultimate monarch that runs our world, that we crown as king year after year, in a sense is vulnerable and in need of our crowning, because if we wouldn’t, there would go His kingship. So as this holy day approaches, let us think about the ultimate and greatest need that reaches a significance far greater than any other.

G-d is asking us to use this day and crown Him and enter a relationship with Him and invite Him into our everyday lives and rely on Him. He needs us as much as we need Him. And while it is a day of awe and reverence, when probing beneath the surface, it is a day of the deepest love that comes with wanting a relationship, one that G-d is asking us to reciprocate.

Just like in our human relationships, where love flourishes for both parties when one does an act for the other, when we do a good deed it is not just G-d that feels close to us in that moment; we can deepen our love for Him through our involvement in what He asks of us.

He is our king, but He is also our father. And as a parent I know that I can only hope that my children have happiness and that they can feel my love for them infinitely.

I bless the entire Palm Beach community that on our Jewish New Year, as we coronate G-d as the king of the world, He gives each and every one of you and yours, a year of health, peace, and much success.

Rabbi Zalman Levitin is the spiritual leader of the Chabad House. 

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Letter: Prayers and peace for Rosh Hashana 2022