Rosh Hashana is almost upon us! Today, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, Director of Jewish Treats' parent organization, the National Jewish Outreach Program, has chosen to speak about one of his favorite topics: SIN.
Sin is very exciting. Sin can be very meaningful. Sin could be very disastrous. The problem with sin today is that we have defined sin down. There is almost no standard for sin. Karl Menninger wrote a book entitled, "Whatever Became of Sin?" because people no longer think that they are sinning. Sin is very important. And recognizing sin is even more important. Its not so much the guilt, its really the healthy guilt. If you think you are doing something wrong, then there is a chance that you will change and become better. Let's say you overeat, or you don't eat enough or you are not sleeping. You are sinning against your body. Sin is not only committing sins against other people. You can sin against yourself.
The most important thing you can do is recognize sin. Not to explain it away or define it down, but to recognize it. That's what the sound of the shofar is all about. When the shofar blasts, we think about our lives and how it moves before us and how before we know it, its not going to be here any longer. Let's use our time responsibly. Lets use our time usefully. And even though you may not go to synagogue to hear the shofar blown each morning during Elul, think about that long blast, known as the tekiah sound. Think about the teruah blast, the staccato cry and wail. Think about the shevarim blast, the broken cry. Think about yourself and think about your life and think about how God has given us the gift of repentance. Use it well.
Wishing you a Shana Tova (a Good Year)!