Susan and I shared in the immense joy of dear friends while attending the wedding of their daughter on Labor Day. Since Rosh HaShana starts this coming Sunday night, we heard many greetings of, “Shana Tova,” (have a good year) and, “Have a happy new year.” The sentiment is lovely. The words are not quite accurate.
Being happy is a purposeful decision we make. Being happy is our responsibility. It’s not the responsibility of our parents, friends, family, or God. God commands us to be happy regardless of circumstance. (Deuteronomy 16:15)
On both occasions when the Torah mentions Rosh Hashana, it fails to speak of new year.