Skip to comments.The Sanctity of Human Life [Rosh Hashanah greetings]
Posted on 09/04/2013 9:46:19 AM PDT by hlmencken3
The Sanctity of Human Life
A Message from the Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
The month of Tishrei, the first month of the year on the Jewish calendar, is generally a time for introspection when we pause to reflect on how well we have conducted ourselves in the past year, and resolve to improve further in the New Year.
Thus, it is interesting to consider why it is that Rosh Hashana, which is the first day of the Jewish year, commemorates not the first day of creation, but rather the sixth--the day that man, Adam was created.
The introduction of one single individual to a universe that has been nearly completed--from the galaxies to the oceans, from animals to the myriad insect species--might seem insignificant.
But this sequence in the creation of the world--in which everything was prepared to perfection for Adam and Eve--conveys a message of priorities which is inherent in Judaism: The entire world was created for the purpose of humankind alone.
With this Divine design of a world created for humankind, the espousal of a population explosion theory, and attempts to contain population growth on a mass scale or in family life, defies the raison d'etre of this world.
For if we recognize that human life is the reason for all of creation, we cannot but realize that each human being is brought into the world with the talents and abilities to enhance and expand the resources which G-d has put at our disposal. To perceive humankind as depleting the world's resources rather than as a blessing to its development in new and better ways, is to forget the purpose of creation.
Thus it is that the first commandment and blessing in the Torah is to populate the earth with human life. And thus it is that the Jewish new year, on which day G-d passes judgement on all of creation, should correspond to the creation of humankind, giving testimony to human life as the most sacred and blessed of G-d's creation.
This is especially significant for our generation which has experienced the horrors of the Holocaust and the loss of six million of our people. It is our responsibility to embrace human life and promote and encourage its growth with enthusiasm and gratefulness.
The blessing of life is a recurring theme of Rosh Hashanah. In our prayers we repeatedly ask G-d to bless us with life, and in the Torah and Haftorah readings of the day, we read of two barren Jewish matriarchs--Sara, and Chana, both of whom were blessed on Rosh Hashana to conceive children. These children eventually grew to be great people: Isaac our forefather--the first person born a Jew, and Samuel the Jewish prophet.
From these matriarchs, who nurtured their children with the values of Torah, we see that the priority which we accord physical human life must be extended to the spiritual dimensions of life--through the education and moral direction we give our children. For it is only through Torah that the blessing of human life can be recognized, and its ultimate standing in the hierarchy of G-d's creations can be appreciated.
A good and sweet year to everyone and to all of us.
L’Shana Tovah to you and yours.
Thank you for posting this excellent article. Amen.
May G-d grant us a great Rosh Hashanah!
Wishing and praying for all men a blessed year. Even the worst sinners, since being blessed means not endorsement of where you are but rather an improvement in spiritual state.
I’d quibble with the late Rabbi around the edges as to whether the world is “only” for men. We also have animals, and we have plants, and we have angels both good and bad here. The scene would be poorer without them; God manages even to use the bad angels to His greater glory AND to enprivilege mankind to partake in that greater glory (cf the book of Job). But men are the stars of God’s show. They have the privilege of being made in His image. Nothing else does.
The good Lord bless everyone willing to receive the blessing. God is good all the time and desires blessing to all men. It is we humans who are saying no to God’s goodness.
Thank you, and to you as well. As we say in this season, may we all be blessed with a new year (5774) of peace, happiness, health and prosperity.
Let us Hope and pray that is the case, for Our Beloved FReepers and for America as well.
A Sweet year ahead to you.
To the Jewish FRpers, a good and blessed New Year.
I apologize to those whom I have offended or wronged by my often execrable behavior (anyone who has an issue to discuss in this vein please PM me).
May this be the year of Final Redemption!
L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem!
Thank You! That Picture is beautiful!
A Blessed Rosh Hashanah to You!
I am still praying for you. With G-d on your side, anything is possible.
Please stay well my FRiend, you honestly serve as an Inspiration to me!
L'Shana Tova Mesta!
L’shana tova to all celebrating!
Eating a post- service apples and honey as we speak!
Happy Jewish New Year to all and everyone!
What a beautiful and uplifting thread this is. Thanks to all participants.
Ketiva VeChatima Tova!