1. Rosh HaShanah begins this evening at around 6 p.m. (Israel time) and ends two days later on Tuesday just after 7 p.m. In contrast to Yom Kippur when we are preoccupied with ourselves and our sins, on Rosh HaShanah it's not about us. On Rosh HaShanah, our task is to coronate HaShem as King. Even if, throughout the year, it may appear that politics or "what will people say" or something else rules over us, our aspiration at the moment, for stability's sake, is to acknowledge that our lives are in the hands of God.

2. The principle mitzvah of Rosh HaShanah is to hear the shofar. Blowing of the shofar will be heard in the synagogue on Monday and Tuesday, generally during the morning hours. Throughout Israel, "Operation Shofar" will be in full gear, and not only in Chabad houses. The shofar will go into public parks, into residential courtyards and backyards, and into the streets. At the beginning of the year, we silence all the surrounding noise and distractions and, as we focus on the sounds of the shofar, we hear a delicate and ancient inner voice calling to us too.

3. It is customary to take upon ourselves a new commitment or performance of a neglected mitzvah, however small, that we can begin to implement at once. Our sages say that just as we buy a new garment for our bodies, we acquire a new garment for our souls by making such a commitment in recognition of the new year.

4. On Rosh HaShanah it is customary to eat the "simanim" (signs) or symbolic foods: an apple dipped in honey for a sweet new year, seeds of a pomegranate fruit -- too many to count -- that represent the numerous merits we hope to accumulate in the new year, and so on. The Chofetz Chaim used to say that the best sign or indicator of a sweet and successful new year is simply to be sweet and good. To be filled with joy, without room for sadness of any kind.

5. And on a personal level: Thank you -- readers, followers, and commenters -- for your partnership. Shanah tovah u'metakah, may each and every one of you have a good and sweet new year, and be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.