The New Year-5777-A Year of Daring
This Jewish New Year we arrive at is 5777 of the traditional Jewish chronology. In Hebrew, the last numbers-77-correspond to the Hebrew word -עז- which numerically adds up to 77; ע=70, ז=7.
The word “OZ” means strength, might, power. It is often used in the liturgy when we pray that God bless Israel with strength and peace.
”ה’ עז לעמו יתן ה’ יברך את עמן בשלום.”
Curiously, unlike other Hebrew words with only two letters which cannot be converted into a verb such as כח-‘koach’-which also means might and strength, the word contained in the numbers of our New Year- עז-can be expanded into a verb form by adding one additional letter, the same letter as the second letter, spelling עזז.
One of the forms of this word is להעיז- which means to dare.
Thus, when we attempt to understand the unique translation of the strength embedded in the letters for 77-עז-t the inference derived from these numbers suggests the challenge and the opportunity of approaching the new year with our sights directed to the possibility of engaging in acts that are daring and courageous.
Often we wish that certain things that appear beyond our reach can indeed become realized in our lives. They may involve a certain amount of risk taking, appearing somewhat out of grasp because of fear or the ostensible inaccessibilty of the that goal or objective.
The New Year beckons us to re-evaluate our capacity to take upon ourselves the willingness to dare, to step into the unknown with faith in ourselves, in the fullness of life’s potential ,in God, and make every reasonable effort to achieve that which is more adventurous and that which has been untried. Certainly a strong desire accompanied by the worthwhileness of the goal represent ingredients that contribute to the likely actualization of our response of daring and strength.
Perhaps the world in general can dare to explore possibilities for arriving at new ways by which to sustain our planet and bring peace to the human community. We need the “OZ”-the strength, courage and daring, to attempt to pursue untried paths-those of peace , pleasantness , of compassion and love.
May the New Year of 5777 be a year of עז- of courage and daring for Israel , the world and in our personal lives. Amen