Today is the second full day of Rosh HaShanah, a very important Holy Day in Judaism. An important aspect of Rosh HaShanah is that at the restart of the year, we are supposed to ask forgiveness from anyone and everyone we have wronged in the last year. Interestingly, we are supposed to ask for forgiveness after the start of the year before the second of the High Holy Days, Yom Kippur.
According to our tradition, the period of 10 days between the two Holy Days are the days in which God decides if we will have a good life or even if we will die in the next year. Although I don't believe that God sits on high deciding our fate, I do believe that our tradition has a great idea here.
At the start of the year, we bring ourselves to the bottom. We admit our faults, we publicly shame ourselves by admitting all of the things we have done wrong in the last year. Now, we have a chance to build ourselves up over the course of the year. We can build ourselves up as a better, stronger improved person.
It would be very hard for me from Israel to contact everyone that I may have hurt in the last year. So from here, I acknowledge that I have faults. I acknowledge that I have made errors in judgment. I have said things I should not have and I have done things that I should not have. If I have done anything to hurt or offend anyone in the last year, I truly am sorry. If I have hurt you and didn't even realize it, I'm sorry.
Let this new year be a year in which I improve myself and strengthen my relationships with everyone that I love and care about.
Let this new year be a year of blessings and happiness for everyone.
Let this new year be a year of peace between all humankind.
Let this new year be a year of peace within ourselves.
Let anything from the past year be in the past, and allow anyone who wishes a fresh start to have one.