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The medieval scholar Rambam teaches that when we sound the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, we are metaphorically calling out: “You that sleep, you who are dreaming, wake up! Take a look at your behavior, return to your truest self, and remember your Creator” (Hilchot Teshuva, 3:4).
We need the reminder. Too often, humans get stuck in patterns and loops of misbehavior, selfishness, and inertia. The High Holidays come around each year to jar us just enough to push us away from destructive behaviors and pull us toward our best selves. It’s some of the most difficult internal work we can do.
Making lists of resolutions may be easy, but being resolute about them is not. That’s why much of this process happens in community. We listen to the shofar and stand with each other, the sum greater than its parts, committing to change in the year ahead. In 5779, we have the opportunity to begin again—to start a resolution for ourselves, our families, and our communities—and awaken to our fullest potential.