“A year is a rather long period, and it is always filled with activity and events.
But except in the lives of young children, life is not full of significant occurrences every year.
Surely, people get married, have children, do things, earn or lose money–but only in special years are there public or private events that give people a new life.
In many ways, the passing year was–if not a year of crisis–at least a rather taxing year.
Among its may events, there was no new dawn or new sunrise.
And so another year goes by; we sum up our income and our taxes, recall both happy and sad memories–yet go on living as we did in the previous year and in the years that preceded it.
For all this we have the two days of Rosh HaShanah.
These days are not meant to be glorious or agitating in and of themselves; rather, their purpose is to be a gate for life, to be days in which we can build the life of the coming year so that it will contain vitality and renewal.
For this purpose we should do our moral stock-taking, introspect and pray for the renewal of time–that though today may look like yesterday it will contain a spark of new life.
We should pray for a year in which even the daily routine will have an aura of hope and of experiences.
The New Year is a gate for each and every individual. But, as more and more of us participate in this introspection and renewal, the year will be one of renascence for all of us.”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From a letter sent by Rabbi Steinsaltz, Rosh HaShanah Eve, 5770