Celebrating the birth of humanity and self-worth


Rosh Hashana, a significant holiday in the Jewish calendar, marks the beginning of the Jewish year. But what exactly took place on this day, and why is it celebrated as the head of the year? Surprisingly, Rosh Hashana falls on the sixth day of Creation, which is five days after the world itself was created, signifying the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. 

The Talmud raises an intriguing question about Creation. It notes that when the Genesis account describes the formation of the entire universe, it mentions the creation of creatures in multiples, except for one being - the human. When Adam came into existence, he was entirely alone on this vast planet. The question naturally arises: Why did Adam have to experience loneliness before G-d formed his “better half?”

There is a charming anecdote about a 104-year-old woman who was asked about the advantage of living to such an age. Her witty response was, “No peer pressure!” Indeed, the concept of self-esteem and individuality plays a pivotal role in understanding the unique creation of Adam.

As we grow, each of us constructs an internal narrative about ourselves, defining our identity and assessing our value. Sadly, many of us are influenced by external factors, such as family, school, or societal expectations, which lead us to believe that our worth hinges on gaining approval or validation from others.

However, Judaism presents a revolutionary perspective. G-d chose to create Adam alone, with no other human presence. This serves as a profound lesson: human identity does not derive from our relationship to others. Each individual possesses inherent, intrinsic value. G-d loves us unconditionally, not because of our actions or others’ opinions but because our very essence is divine.

Together, as a community, we share a collective mission to perfect the world and make it a better place, as outlined in the 7 Noahide laws for universal guidance.

Simultaneously, we are uniquely crafted by G-d, each with a distinct mission to contribute to this world.

As Rosh Hashana approaches, I extend my warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year to all. If you are seeking a place for services, our doors are open to you. Visit ChabadJewishLife.org/services for more information.

Rabbi Shimon Kramer is the director and spiritual leader of Chabad Center for Jewish Life. For assistance, he can be contacted by email at rabbik@chabadjewishlife.org or by phone at 516-833-3057 x 100.