We just had Rosh Hashanah, complete with apples, honey, and (hopefully) a reality check!
On Rosh Hashanah, we crowned G-d king. We reminded ourselves that our health, wealth and success all come from G-d, and we prayed for a sweet year.
Interestingly, in this week’s Parsha, Moshe warns us that in the future, we will “become fat … and … desert G-d…” (Deuteronomy, 32:15)
What is Moshe talking about? What does it mean that we will desert G-d? (I mean, we just crowned him king – why would we desert him?!)
“Becoming fat” refers to material success. Sometimes, we can forget where our success comes from. We can feel that when we’re successful, “we earned it”. We can mistakenly attribute our victories to our personal efforts.
In truth, we can put in our best efforts, but we do not control the outcome of those efforts. Whether we are successful or not is in G-d’s hands.
In today’s world, this can be hard to swallow. The idea of the “self-made” person is a dominant part of secular culture. According to Collins Dictionary, “self-made is used to describe people who have become successful and rich through their own efforts, especially if they started life without money, education, or high social status”; for example, “He is a self-made man”.
Recently, a friend asked me about what I wanted to work on for the coming year.
One of my main goals is to undertake challenges while keeping Hashem’s power at the forefront of my mind – to remember that while my efforts are in my hands, the outcome is not.
This is an excellent way to live with more serenity. As we like to say “We do our best, and Hashem does the rest”.
Hashem is king.
You can’t control everything.
If you’re doing your best, and things are going great? It’s from G-d.
If you’re doing your best, and things are going poorly? It’s from G-d.
We start off the year reminding ourselves that G-d is king.
Remember to keep G-d as your king…and not appoint yourself as king instead.
Danielle Altonaga and the JET Team