After months of work and collaboration with very dear friends, and with the support of so many of you, I am proud to share the first track off of my new album, “Chaverai Nevarech.” Every two weeks, I’ll share a new piece of music, along with a teaching to accompany it. All of the videos will be available on my website, along with sheet music, chords, and other resources to share with your communities.
So here is some Rosh Hashanah Torah for the first song, “Emet.”
Rosh Hashanah is not only the birth of a new year, it is the birthday of the entire world. When God began to create the world, all of the angels began to argue with each other. The angel of Chesed (loving-kindness) said, “Holy One! You should create humankind, as they are filled with loving-kindness!” The angel of Truth said, “O Holy One! Do not create humankind, as they are filled with lies!” What did God do? God lifted up the angel of Truth and threw it to down the Earth, as it is written, “And Truth was hurled to the ground (Daniel 8:12).” The angels immediately began shouting, “Holy One! What have you done? You have thrown your holy seal of Truth to the ground!” And the Holy One replied, “Truth springs up from the Earth (Psalms 85:12).”
There is no such thing as absolute truth; inflexible, unalterable. Truth does not come from on high. Ever since the moment that God threw Truth to the ground, truth must be found in humanity. Which means it is up to us to recognize truth and to use it for good. This is a huge responsibility, and the Holy One knew that it was the right to give this responsibility to humanity. After God created humans, God looked and said “v’hinei tov me’od,” “and it was very good.” What is it that is very good? What is it that is tov me’od? It is Adam. The letters Mem Aleph, Daled (Me’od), also spell Adam (Aleph, Daled, Mem). The hidden truth is that there is goodness, very goodness in fact, in each one of us. And the goal of this season of repentance and introspection is to see it in ourselves and find it in each other.
This is what it means to seek out truth. To bring out the tov me’od in ourselves and in those around us, and strive to fill the world with a little more emet, and a little more tov me’od. May 5779 bring us more of both.
(Adapted from Bereishit Rabbah 8:5)