by Team FOL

In Jewish life, every day, every week and at many other times, it is taken as a chance to start it all over again. In daily morning prayers, Jews thank God for renewing the world. Every Shabbat they recall the first moment of creation. By doing so, they take the opportunity to remember God, be thankful for the night that has passed by and a fresh opportunity for a new day; an opportunity to start it all afresh. The same applies to a New Year.

Vows are a serious business to Jews, more so, when they vow to God. “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not you heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and you are on the earth: therefore let your words be few”, Ecclesiastes 5:2. It reads in Numbers 30:3, “When a man vows a vow unto the Lord...he shall not break his word...”

It is fashionable to some but traditional to many to take resolutions in the New Year. In most cultures, a New Year resolution is more an act of tradition than an intent of transformation. Unless our resolutions have a genuine intent to transform our lives, it is better, that one does not make vows. It is a serious business as it is to God that we make a vow. A vow binds us to both ethical and spiritual obligation.

Every resolution is a onetime act, but the keeping of it is a year-long exercise. As each day comes as a gift from God, may each day, restart with a fresh reminder of the vows, we made at the beginning of the year. If we failed at some, each day comes as an opportunity to reset and restart, all over again. Failure must not be an excuse, success must be.


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