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A Mysterious Gift

Published in Ayeka by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on September 25, 2017

Many years ago I received a very unusual gift – a gift I did nothing to deserve. I never met the giver of this gift. It came anonymously.

The unusual thing about this gift was that it continually changed. It kept changing and growing, transforming and unfolding.

With the passing of time, I now know and appreciate this gift much more than when I originally received it.

Sometimes I love it; sometimes I don’t. But one thing for sure – I really wish I knew more about the giver.

If I could meet the giver – what would I say?

Maybe – “Why did you give this particular gift to me?” or “What should I do with this gift?” or “What were you thinking when you gave me this? or “Was this gift used in the best possible way?”

What was the unusual gift I received that I did nothing to deserve?

My life.

Who was “The Giver”? I guess in this lifetime, I’ll never know. Every now and then I give “the Giver” names – God, HaKadosh Baruch Hu, Creator of the world, the Infinite. Names help me connect. But I well know they are just names. I will never understand this unfathomable gift. It will remain the mystery of mysteries why I was given this life, precisely at this time and in this place.

We have all received this gift.

Rosh HaShana reminds us of the 6th day of Creation, the day of the Creation of the first human beings.

If you could meet “the mysterious one” who gave you life, who actually invented life, what would you say?

Would you be ecstatic? Would you feel guilty? Would you be grateful? Or would you just stand in silent wonderment?

Some mysterious force gave you your face, the face that keeps changing.

Some mysterious force gave you your personality, which keeps unfolding anew every year.

What would you say if you could stand close to this mystery? 

 Perhaps Rosh HaShana is that time.


Suggestions for Around the Rosh HaShana table:

  •  What are you the most of proud from the last year? What was your best moment? Your favorite memory?
  •  One of the best ways to improve is to have a role model. Who do you look up to? What is it about this person that you admire?
  •  If you were the rabbi of your community – what short text message would you send to everyone to capture the essence of Rosh HaShana?
  •  If you could put words to the sounds of the shofar, what would you think it was saying?
  •  The Talmud writes that  Rosh HaShana is the 6th day of Creation. The first human beings, Adam and Eve, were created on Rosh HaShana. If you could give a birthday present to the human race – what would you give them?