Congratulations on Your New Job! Welcome to Orientation.

#RoshHaShana #תשפב

Good Morning, Good Morning! Really quite exciting to see you all here for orientation. There have been a lot of applicants for these positions and I guess I should begin with congratulations. It's been quite a process getting you all here and placed...

Oh! You seem a little confused. I apologize, that was a little abrupt. No one has filled you in on who I am and what this is all about. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rael, and I was asked to be your guide for orientation today. We should start at the beginning...

Let's step outside of ourselves for a moment and see where, what and who we are.

Today you were created. The year is 5782 years since the dawn of humanity. A lot has transpired in the past 5782 years. There are a couple of important details that we'll need to catch you up on. But that's not necessary right now. Today, we'll go through a few of the essential points. I'm sure you have some questions as well. We'll get to them at the end.

Where are you? That's one's easy. Your placement is Boca Raton, Florida. It's nice, no? Not everyone gets this placement. (Seems to me that the Boss must really love you guys. The group before you got stuck in New Jersey.)

Of course, this is only a temporary placement. You're here only as long as you need. I don't know if you've heard yet, but we've been working on this for two thousand years. It's really quite exciting – we've finally opened up our new head quarters again in the Middle East. It's fast growing, and pretty successful. We call it “Israel”. Yes, I know, I know, there's a lot of competition in that market. And some of the competitors are cutthroat. But as soon as you've wrapped up your work here, you should apply for a transfer. That's really where the action is. But I'm getting ahead of myself again.

You're probably wondering who you are. Of course, we can't generalize too much. Everyone here has a different role to play here. But there are a couple of things to note for everyone. First and foremost, you are here because this is where He – the Boss, the CEO – needs you to be. And of course, this is exactly where you need to be.

You have a particular set of skills, that are uniquely yours. And a team of fantastic people around you that will help you do your best work. Pay careful attention to the people on your immediate team. (We call them “family” and “community”. It's a cute company lingo.) Sometimes, they may seem difficult, frustrating and annoying. But please note that working together is not optional. It's integral to your job here. Oh, and the Boss assigns each group personally. Best make sure you cultivate those relationships well. (Pssst... It's actually the thing He cares about the most.)

What are you supposed to do here? Everyone will be doing slightly different work. But the differences in task are really quite small when we consider the scope of this project. Most importantly, you need to keep the goals in site. You are here to save the world. Sounds a little pompous, I know. Every startup in Silicon Valley says the same thing. But we do it for real.

Ever since its creation, the world is always on the brink of collapse. It's always falling apart. Please, don't get disheartened. That's not because it's a bad place – it's just fragile.

What do we do here? You, we, us, produce the glue that keeps it together. Looking deeply into yourself, you might be feeling a little of that fragility as well, coming in, as you are at this late stage of our history. But don't worry, working here comes with benefits: Official company policy is that anyone and everyone who works here gets to enjoy as much of the product as we want. (Trust me – it's great!)

What is that product and how do we produce it? Since you're hired already, I guess I can share trade secrets – it's taken us a few thousand years to develop. Let me explain:

Any and every event, person, moment or challenge that occurs in this world carries inside of it the potential to propel us all forwards, or to hold us back. Anything and everything in your life could build or destroy. Anything and everything can help save the world, or ruin it.

What we are privileged to do here is to dig deep, to mine the entirely of reality and reveal the goodness inside of it. It sounds a little overwhelming, because it is. Thankfully, we have a guidebook with fantastic instructions. We've had it for 3500 years! In that time there have been some incredible people working on understanding, explaining and applying it. So, naturally, there are a lot of commentaries on it. Take the time to read it through thoroughly. It's impossible to guess your way through this job. Thankfully, we have some excellent role models. Great men and women throughout the generations of our company who have excelled in mining the goodness from this world for generations.

But of course even the greatest of us do not have your challenges and your experiences. They have different raw material to work with. That's why you are here. To dig deep and mine the goodness from your reality. And when you do, you get to enjoy it for free. The more you do, the better you get at it. But please, proceed with caution. The same places from which goodness can be mined can also produce the opposite. (First day on the job is not a time to share horror stories, but, if you speak to people a little in the week ahead, you'll hear some of the disasters.)

Oh, and one more thing before we begin. Every year, when the new hires are brought in, we sound a horn, a Shofar. Seems a little strange, right?

But that was the sound that the CEO, the Boss, The Founder, sounded when the company was founded. He did it again when He gave us His Guidebook for success here. And He's holding off on a final blast for when we finally figure out how to draw up all the goodness of the world. That's going to be some party. And you guys are going to be VIP's.

It's a wordless sound that holds inside of it all of our missions here. It begins whole: Thats the beginning. Simple and pure. And then it breaks up as we encounter our challenges. Then it shatters. And then it is whole again.

The secret of this tune is that the gaps, the holes, the breaks that make us feel as if we're falling apart are really just places to excavate. Those breaking points are fault lines that contain within them the greatest potential for goodness.

So we do it every year when the hires come in. It's our anthem here. It rededicates us to the mission at hand. It lets the Boss know that we're target, that we're mission driven and focussed.

The Shofar is a call to the future. It reminds us and reminds Hashem of the journey we are on, and the future that we are aiming towards (מהר״ל חידושי אגדות ר״ה י א).

When we look at the world through the eyes of the big picture. With that perspective, the bumps and bruises of the road are irrelevant. Previous failures are unimportant (אוצאות רמח״ל תהילים ע׳ קסא). We examine ourselves in the light of day, against what we yearn to be, and for a moment the fractures and failures of the past are irrelevant. Today is not an evaluation. It's an interview and an orientation. Of course, the mistakes are certainly there. We dare not allow them to remain unchecked – but that is the work of the next ten days leading up to Yom Kippur.

The beginning is a day of dreams, of goals, of eternity, and by definition, it is a day of empowerment, of empathy. In Lashon Kodesh: It's a day of רחמים. We sound the Shofar to elevate our perspective to that which was, that which is and that which will be.

So we stand before Hashem, in fear and love and terror and shame and hope and faith and trust and trepidation and excitement. On Rosh Hashana we are gifted a new life, a new job, a new role.

Today, is the first day of the Future. Your Future. Our Future. Welcome.