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Happy Birthday, Universe
Every year, our sages taught, with the cry of the shofar, the entire universe is reborn.
And so, at that time, with our resolutions and our prayers, we hold an awesome power: To determine what sort of child this newborn year shall be—how it will take its first breaths, how it will struggle to its feet and how it will carry us through life for the twelve months to come.
In truth, it is not only once a year: At every new moon, in a smaller way, all life is renewed again.
And so too, every morning, we are all reborn from a nighttime taste of death.
And at every moment—in the smallest increment of time—every particle of the universe is projected into being out of absolute nothingness, as it was at the very beginning.
Which is why there is always hope. Because at every moment, life is born anew. And we are the masters of how this moment will be born.
The Hebrew word for ark, teivah, also means “word.” When G‑d says (to Noah), “Come into the ark,” He is also saying: Enter into the words of prayer and Torah study; there you will find a sanctuary of wisdom, meaning and holiness amidst the raging floodwaters of life.