Rosh HaShana I Thoughts on the naming of the day

We refer to the New Year as Rosh HaShana, the head of the year. There are a number of titles we could give this day, but the Rabbinic Tradition has chosed Rosh.

The Kabbalists (The Zohar, Ramchal and many others use this figure) describe time and other linear processes in a three-way analysis: Rosh, or beginning, Emtza, middle and Sof, end. Rosh is described as a period when the absolute good, the unity of the Creator, is completely present but in a state described as not-yet-revealed or in potential. Emtza is the period of our present reality, the period of good and evil and the free will to choose between them. Sof is the final resolution where the truth, beauty and inherent goodness of Creation is readily apparent, unified and real.

Rosh HaShana is, as it were, a yearly re-set to the world of total potential, total possibilities, an opportunity to charge into the Emtza and hopefully andwith the help of God, this year, to get a little closer to achieving the Sof of fulfillment, maturity, understanding and compassion.

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