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Rosh Hashana
By Rabbi Pinchas Winston

Hakores hatov -- recognition of good -- is one of the most important mitzvos in the Torah. No, it is not one of the "Taryag Mitzvos" (613 Mitzvos), because, it is the underlying principle behind ALL mitzvos. If Adam HaRishon, instead of blaming G-d for the creation of woman, had shown gratitude to G-d for the gift of a soul-mate, we might all still be in the Garden of Eden.

Most careless sins, against G-d and people, occur because of a lack of appreciation of good. People who appreciate the gift of life and all of life's gifts, tend to be sensitive and caring people. Sensitive and caring people worry about damaging other people, be it their person or their property. It is insensitivity that destroy's our relationship to G-d and people, and ultimately, our world, G-d forbid.

Everyday one must be thankful for whatever good he or she has in life, and, show gratitude to G-d for it. And, after G-d, the people who have acted as His vehicles to "deliver" that good to us, in whatever form it takes. Certainly this should be the case, at least once a year, around Rosh Hashanah time.

This is why I would like to thank Hashem Yisborach, at this time, for allowing me to have a portion in His Torah, and, for allowing me to share insights He has blessed me with, with others, many of whom have shown their own appreciation over the years for receiving them. I thank Him, also, for allowing me to live at a time when the spreading of Torah can be so effective and gratifying.

A major vehicle for this spreading of Torah has been "Project Genesis." This is probably my fourth year writing "Perceptions" for PG, which, from my side, has been an absolute pleasure and privilege. They have been extremely reliable, and, have made writing and delivering insights on the weekly parshah phenomenally easy, especially given the impact they make possible.

For those who are unfamiliar with the cleverness and energy behind one of the most popular Torah web sites in the world, it is Rabbi Ya'akov Menken and his tireless staff, none of whom I have met in person, but, all of whom with which I feel a close affiliation. Thus is the era of the Internet.

I would also like to thank a good friend and mentor, Rabbi Yehudah Landy, as well. Had it not been for Rav Yehudah's prodding, I would not have begun writing on the parshah for Neve Tzion's web site, which, in the end, led to writing for Project Genesis years back. As well, all the people who have worked on me and with me over the years, have a portion in whatever I may accomplish (I'll spare them my failures).

Then, of course, there are my "supporters," upon whose foundations I build: my wife Ahava, and, my parents and in-laws, not to mention the many other people who have helped me in my efforts in one important way or another.

And, last but not least, are YOU, my readers. Most of you I only know by number (i.e., part of the weekly subscription total), some of you by name, and, some, now, even by face. However, without ALL of you, there would be little reason for PG to send out my weekly dvar Torah, and, little inspiration for me to write as much as I have over the years. I write with all of you in mind.

All of this has served me well, Boruch Hashem. For, at the very least, I finish off my week knowing that I have spent considerable time learning the parshah and delving into its deeper meanings. At the very most, I have helped build bridges between G-d and His holy people, and nothing can be more gratifying than that. And, along the way, there have been many spin offs that I never planned for at the start, or, dreamed of along the way.

I only hope that I have served G-d well, and you, my readers. Apparently, "Perceptions" is not for everyone (I wouldn't have assumed otherwise). But, for those who have devotedly downloaded and have read it each week, I hope it has been worth the time, the paper (7 pages sometimes!), and the toner. If I have ever hurt or offended anyone in anyway, I beg that you forgive me. It is NEVER my intention to hurt or damage anyone; just to use whatever little understanding I have to further the cause of the Final Redemption, and, the ultimate unification of the Jewish people.

May we all be blessed with a positive judgment, and, a wonderful and inspiring new year filled with health -- an end to all sickness and sorrow -- and only good news. May our generation, after so many thousands of years of suffering and waiting, merit to witness the coming home of the Jewish people, once and for all, to their G-d, their Torah, and their land. Amen. Kein Yehi Ratzon.

Pinchas Winston
Elul 5760

L'Shannah Tovah ...

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