Hoshana Rabba Reflections

It is Hoshana Rabba.


It is a time to continue teshuva – returning to emulating Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy instead of our own biased self-oriented reactions.


We are given a body – a space into which a soul is placed.

We are given a lifespan – a time when we have consciousness and free willed choice.


The soul that is given to us at all times knows only the goodness and love of Hashem, despite the glancing 120 year experience we are given in time and space that obscures the truth, that all there is in the world is Hashem, Whose utterances form a world in which He is hidden, so that we have free will to remember Him.


When water fills a cup, we see the difference between the water and the cup. One is liquid. The other is solid.  It is a clear boundary.


When a soul fills a body, it is not as clear because a body has liquid, solid and gaseous parts and the soul fills all the parts.


What we want is for the entirety of our soul to cling to its root in Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy, which means that it does not cling instead to the natural draws of time and space.


Hashem is above time and space and He is in total control of time and space.


What happens in a second?  Something or some thought is present.  Then, because of our perceptions and neurology, we have a reaction in “space”.  Where will our soul attach – to the messages generated from the processes of being a body in time and space, or from the constant awareness of Hashem’s Torah, fervent prayer, and a yearning to emulate Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy?


Will we listen to the deceiving messages or will we remember?


Each year we attempt more and more to bring to our hearts the ability to remember something more, rescuing more of our soul from its natural tendencies to react based on bias. Water, desire, lust and greed, is to cling to kindness and love for Hashem.  Wind, the arrogance we can feel, the honor we can crave, those jealous moments, is to cling to Hashem’s Oneness. Fire, the fears, the destruction we think of when we judge, is to cling to the light of Torah to bring warmth and gentle light.  And earth, the sadness, the laziness, the habits, is to cling to using our physicality with gratitude to reveal Hashem’s love.


On Hoshana Rabba, our year receives the final seal.


May we reiterate and commit to a year where we yearn to be more and more free of personal bias and more in line with Torah and His 13 attributes of mercy.

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