Why Jews are Drawn to Synagogues on the High Holidays

Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to a synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?! Why are so many Jews who do not ordinarily attend synagogues feel the need to be there on the High Holidays? There must be a deep reason beyond tradition, guilt and the honey cake kiddush… listen in:

A king had a dream one night… He was in the woods just roaming around alone, enjoying the pleasant nature, the chirping birds and the comfortable breeze, when from afar he heard a young child playing a beautiful melody on his flute. Not wanting to disturb the beautiful music, the king sat down on a stump and allowed the mesmerizing music to saturate his soul. It was so sweet and engaging, soulful and uplifting, it made him feel so wholesome and fulfilled. The king could not pull himself away from listening to this beautiful music. Er! Er! Er! Er!… Suddenly the disturbing noise of his alarm clock woke him from this sweet dream, he desperately tried to recall the melody but alas he could not remember it. The day gave him no rest. He had to find that sweet melody once again…

He sent out word in the kingdom that any young child who would come to play a beautiful tune on their flute would be rewarded handsomely. He could not identify the melody and so he hoped that from all the contestants that precious music would emerge.

This story is your story…

Your soul is royalty and it longs for the sweet melody that invigorates its essence. We can’t put our finger on where to find that music that makes us feel whole and meaningful and so we search everywhere earnestly seeking those notes that we so deeply pine for. Look at the leadership of any movement, any revolution (even Communism!), and you will find Jews at the forefront, we eternally search for the melody that gives our spirit meaning.

Kaballah teaches that on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur G-d plays that melody and it stirs our soul and draws us close…

When you find yourself in a synagogue this Rosh Hashanah make sure to spend the time absorbing this precious melody, allow it to seep through and refresh our tired spirits that so deeply yearn for a meaningful connection to the essence of who we are. That melody sings to you that you are an irreplaceable expression of the Divine in this world; that from your soul emanates wisdom and goodness without which this universe is fundamentally lacking; that G-d loves you AND needs you; that you cannot allow time to pass because you are called upon for a mission to make this world and your life a G-dly abode!
Rabbi Mendel (Menachem) Bluming has served the Potomac, Maryland community as the rabbi and director of Chabad Shul of Potomac since 2003