Posted on September 26, 2019 (5779) By Rabbi Label Lam | Series: | Level:

The livelihood of a person is decided from Rosh HaShana to Rosh HaShana (Tractate Rosh HaShana)
Many great determinations are made on Rosh HaShana. It is truly an awesome day where many important factors that impact all of our lives are scripted. It’s no wonder that these days are called “Days of Awe”. How are we to position ourselves for the best possible outcome? What should our posture be? What is our strategy of this “Day of Judgment”?

No one should go into a court without a counsel. Maybe it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Someone who represents himself has a fool for a client.” We don’t want to be that reckless and foolish when so much lies in the balance. Boruch HASHEM we have a Machzor much of which was organized by the Men of the Great Assembly, amongst whom there was prophets and great sages.

But let us take a closer look at this lawyer’s brief. If a person’s livelihood is determined on Rosh HaShana then why is there no explicit mention of or petition for money or salary. It’s conspicuously absent from the liturgy of the day. How then is our livelihood reckoned? The final results are based on what?! Here is a very straightforward and practical approach to Rosh HaShana!

A doctor friend of mine told me that he had interviewed a young graduate from medical school to join his practice. He started the interview with a open question, “What are looking for?” The young doctor answered immediately and with confidence, “I am looking to make six figures, have at least two days off each week to play golf leisurely, and I would need my own parking place so I don’t have to waste time circulating in search of a parking spot.

I have more on my list too…” My doctor friend told him that would be enough and the interview ended there. Obviously, he did not get the job. What had he done so terribly wrong?

What would have been a better answer to that question, “What are you looking for?” Try this! “I am looking to make the best use of my years of training in medicine. I want to be able to help and heal people. I hear that you are experts in this field and I would be excited to learn from the best and grow under guidance from your years of experience. Lastly but not at all less importantly, I want to be able help you grow your practice to meet its optimum potential.”
I think that script might be more useful in landing the job. Why? What’s the difference? In one case the young applicant was only focused on what he wanted for himself. In the second scenario he was looking to see what he could do to add value and be helpful.

Rosh HaShana is a giant job interview. The way to be successful is not to spend a day begging for more money. That doesn’t impress the heart of “The Boss – HaMelech!” No! The best approach is to preset our minds and our hearts to desire to contribute in any way possible.

“I am looking to make the best use of my years of training in whatever my specialty is. I want to help people and encourage others to become better. I want to grow under your guidance to be the best that I can be. Lastly, but not at all less importantly I want to more than anything to help grow your “company” to its optimal potential.” Who would not gain employment in HASHEM’s universe with just such an attitude!?