The holiday of Rosh Hashanah is that time of year when Hashem judges the whole world and decides our fate for the year.
The question one may ask: Why then do we pray all year long if indeed our fate is decided for the year?
One of the answers given is that Hashem decides on Rosh Hashanah how much spiritual credit we can deposit into our spiritual account. However, the decision of how much of this spiritual credit we can withdraw in a physical form, that is decided by Hashem daily. Hence the need for daily prayer and for making daily good choices.
Students come to school with all kinds of innate strengths or weaknesses, which one may call part of their fate. Our mission as educators is to help develop those strengths and to help students overcome their potential weaknesses.
Similarly, just as we pray daily despite our fate being decided on Rosh Hashanah, we also work daily with our students despite some of their inborn strengths or weaknesses.
Dr. Carol S. Dweck in her famous work on “Growth Mindset” writes that the best gift we can give students is to become aware of their strengths and weaknesses, then to help them develop a growth mindset to further develop their strengths and to work on overcoming or minimizing their weaknesses.
May we all be blessed to have a successful Rosh Hashanah in which our spiritual bank account is overflowing, and may we further be blessed with a growth mindset to be able to materialize these blessings on a daily basis.
Rabbi Michoel Druin is the head of school of the Chaya Mushka Children’s House Elementary & Middle School.