Blessing for the Jewish New Year of 5764
all the Jewish People,
Righteous Gentiles and Lovers of Israel--Shalom!
is customary to meditate on the numerical significance of each new
Jewish year. The upcoming Jewish year, starting on Rosh HaShanah,
is 5764. Traditionally, Jewish years are referred to without the
thousands, so this year will be known as '764.
numerical value of 764, is the same as me'az yatzah matok,
"From the harsh came sweetness." The source of this
expression is in Judges 14:14. Samson, who had killed a lion cub,
later discovered a beehive in the lion’s carcass. From the harsh
lion came sweetness--the honey of the bees.
Zusha of Anapoli is one of the main figures with whom to identify on Rosh
Hashana, as he was the pillar of fear of Heaven.
himself had a "from harshness came sweetness" experience.
Rabbi Zusha attended a wedding in a village at the edge of the forest.
While dancing, Rabbi Zusha became so enraptured of God's Presence as
symbolized by the bride, that he unwittingly danced all the way into
the thick of the forest. Lost for three days, Rabbi Zusha was starved
and exhausted. He cried out to God and miraculously, honey began to
flow from one of his teeth, and milk from another.
the harsh experience of being lost in the forest, Rabbi Zusha himself
became a source of sweetness.
the harsh judgments that the Jewish People suffered this past year on
a personal and communal level be sweetened until they themselves are a
source of sweetness. The numerical value of 764 is also "and
light is sweet," (Ecclesiastes
11:7). Light is particularly sweet when it is on the backdrop of
darkness, "as the advantage of light over darkness." May we
emerge from the darkness of the past year into the sweet light of the
true and complete redemption!
we be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year,