Last week, our 4-year-old son, Sruli, asked the following question: "On the first day when the world was created ... in our house ... was there food in the fridge?"
An interesting question, from a curious boy.
It made me think of a topic discussed in a Hasidic discourse from exactly 100 years ago. On the second day of Rosh Hashanah 1912, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneerson queried:
We declare in the Rosh Hashanah prayers that "today is the beginning of Your actions," that is, the creation of the world. Yet, in fact, Rosh Hashanah is not the day of creation; that distinction belongs to the 25th day of the month of Elul. Rosh Hashanah is the day that man was created.
In truth, these two points are intertwined. The world existed untouched until Adam was created; there is a certain beauty to that pristine state, like the beauty of a fresh snowfall before the footprints.
Yet, the world was created for a purpose, and we, too, were created with a purpose in mind.
The reason that we refer to Rosh Hashanah as the "birthday of the world" -- even though, in a technical sense, it isn't -- is that the purpose of creation can only be fulfilled after we were placed upon this beautiful planet.
It is our task to elevate our physical possessions and surroundings for a higher purpose, thereby revealing the Creator's presence in this world.
Sruli wanted to know if there was food in the fridge; will he have what he needs to accomplish his mission in life?
We were brought into a world where the fridge was full of food, so to speak, in order to help fuel us in our mission of revealing the Infinite Light inherent within creation.
As we dip our apple in honey this Rosh Hashanah (beginning Sunday evening and concluding Tuesday evening), let us reflect that our fridge is full; we have everything that we need. May we all be blessed to fulfill our purpose in creation, revealing G-d's Infinite Light in the world, ushering in an era of universal peace.
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