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Ta Shema: December 31, 2021

While we already had our Jewish New Year 5782 back in September, we are approaching our secular New Year 2022. It might not be a date of Teshuva, Tefillah, and Tzedakah (Repentance, Prayer, and Charitable giving), but it does still have some spiritual significance.

In Judaism, there is a belief that numbers have spiritual meaning in a practice called Gematria. The number 2022, surprisingly enough, is spiritually significant. 2022 is the value of the letters from Psalms 96:6 added up.




Psalm 96:6:

Glory and majesty are before God;
strength and splendor are in God’s Temple.
הוֹד־וְהָדָ֥ר לְפָנָ֑יו עֹ֥ז וְ֝תִפְאֶ֗רֶת בְּמִקְדָּשֽׁוֹ׃

Psalm 96 is a central part of our liturgy, especially on Friday nights. We sing it as a part of Kabbalat Shabbat. The refrain of verse 11 is perhaps most familiar; Yismekhu HaShamayim v’Tagel Ha’Aretz. Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult; let the sea and all within it thunder. Psalm 96 reminds us that the power and beauty of God is found not only in God’s Temple, like in verse 6, but also in the earth itself, like in verse 11. May this secular new year be a time where we can reflect on and find the sacred in everything from our Synagogue space to sitting on the beach during this glorious December weather.

May 2022 be a spiritual boost to the heights you reached at the beginning of 5782.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Tue, October 4 2022 9 Tishrei 5783