This year, as I deliver my Rosh Hashanah sermon, instead of contemplating the silence of an empty child's room in my home, I fully expect to hear the shrieks, giggles, and crying of my infant daughter. Before, I used to silently urge the embarrassed mothers to hurry up and remove their crying children. This year, I hope my wife will be one of them--and take her time as she moves in the direction of the exit.

A year goes by, a year of pain, anger, and despair. Yet, somehow, it concludes with hope. This new year will begin with me being able to recite this line from the early morning service of Rosh Hashanah, with a certain degree of confidence: "Adonai, you transformed my mourning into dancing; you disrobed me of my garments of weeping and instead girded me with delight!" And there is no better way to begin a new year--a year of spirituality, a year of hope, and a year of fatherhood--than with joy and delight.