Vacharta bachayim l’ma’an t’hiyeh atah v’zarachah
Choose life, so that you and your descendants may live.
I try to imagine all of the generations that came before me….the ones that might not have made it out of Egypt. The ones who died in battle, and suffered during those years of wandering in the desert. Our ancestors stood together with their entire future before them. They accepted the covenant, not just for themselves, but for us, and all the generations that would come after.
Who was standing at Sinai to hear God’s voice and promise to do God’s will. “You stand here this day, all of you before the Lord your God. The leaders, the men, the children, the women even the stranger, Everyone, no matter what his or her profession or position in life— everyone had a role to play.
If you were a part of the community, then you were as responsible for the covenant as anyone else.
There’s a story that describes a scene at Mount Sinai when God gave us the Torah. The story claims that God appeared at Sinai as if he were a statue with faces on every side. A thousand people might be looking at the statue, but it seemed to each person as if the statue was looking directly at him or her. So when God spoke, each and every person in Israel could say, "God is addressing me."
So, as we embark on this new year, God is looking at you, and you are asked to reaffirm your commitment to the covenant. For our past, for our present, and for our future generations. And we’re reminded that its not impossible to carry out. We can do it. This is who we are. The sound of the Shofar awakens the spirit within us so that we can be our best selves.