Hayom Harat Olam
Today the world is pregnant with possibility. Today all of creation stands in judgement.
Will we be judged as children, or as servants? If as children, have mercy on us like a parent on children. And if as servants, our eyes look upon you asking for mercy to, clear as light, release our verdict, full of awe and holiness.
Melody by Josh Warshawsky
Hayom Harat Olam
We stand in the balance
Every single day is brand new. Every day pregnant with possibility. With potential. Every day can go in so many different directions. We feel this more than ever nowadays, and especially at this time of year leading up to the High Holidays. In the Mishneh Torah, Rambam (Maimonides) taught: “It is, therefore, necessary for every person to see themself throughout the whole year as someone evenly balanced between innocence and guilt, and look upon the entire world as if it also is evenly balanced between innocence and guilt; thus, if you commit one sin, you will overbalance yourself and the whole world to the side of guilt, and be a cause of its destruction; but if you perform one mitzvah, behold, you will overbalance yourself and the whole world to the side of virtue, and bring about your own and their salvation and escape, as it is written: “But the righteous are an everlasting foundation” (Prov. 10:25), it is the righteous who serve as a foundation for the world, they overbalance the whole world to virtue and save it.”
Each one of us has the potential to hold up the entire world. It’s all about the choices we make. And so we must view ourselves that way and take ownership over our actions. This prayer, Hayom Harat Olam is one of the few moments where we give ourselves up to a power greater than ourselves and say, “we’ve tried to make amends, we’ve done what we can. Now how will we be judged and viewed in the eyes of God?” Will we be viewed empathetically as children who have made mistakes and are trying to do better? Or will we be viewed as slaves who have no ownership over their actions and must therefore simply pray for mercy from their master.
This prayer is said three times on Rosh Hashanah, after each blowing of the shofar in the Musaf service. And so I believe the words of this prayer are trying to wake us up! They are trying to tell us that, actually, we are the ones who must choose how we view ourselves. Are we going to absolve ourselves of all guilt? Or are we going to take ownership over our actions and seek to do better tomorrow. You’ll hear in this piece how the way we perceive ourselves actually shifts the tone of the melody.
Harom Harat Olam. Today the world is conceived. What will you do with it?
Executive Producers: Marc and Susan Sacks
With generous additional funding provided by Sacred Sounds Unbound: Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Beth Am Los Angeles
Sponsored by Congregation Beth Ahm, West Bloomfield, MI
Produced and mixed by Jeremy Lawrence
Engineered by Patrick Kehrier and Tyler Karmen
Additional Audio Editing by Josh Kay and Patrick Rimterakul
Mastered by Mike White
Vocal arrangements and production by Ayo Awosika
Musical direction by Brock Pollock
Directed by Dustin Warren
Produced by The Matterworks
Edited by Josh Warshawsky
Cinematography by Dustin Warren and Ricky Sanchez
Recorded at 64 Sound in Highland Park, CA
Featuring the Chaverai Nevarech Band:
Josh Warshawsky (Guitar, Lead Vocals)
Brock Pollock (Music Producer, Bass)
Ayo Awosika (Vocal Producer, Vocals)
Coleen Dieker (Vocals)
Duvid Swirsky (Lead Guitar, Bouzouki, Banjo, Vocals)
Chava Mirel (Vocals)
Deborah Sacks Mintz (Vocals)
Jackson Vance Mercer (Vocals)
Lior Shragg (Percussion)
Jenni Asher (Violin)
Copyright 2022 Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Chaverai Nevarech Music
For resources, sheet music, videos, and more, visit www.joshwarshawsky.com