11 Sep 2015 Rosh HaShana 5776
We are now hours away from the Yom Ha’Din, the awesome Day of Judgement, Rosh HaShana 5776.
It is interesting to consider the different names for our New Year:
ראש השנה – The New Year; literally The Head of the Year. I heard a beautiful insight last week (shared with me by two different individuals) regarding ראש השנה. If we change the nekudos (vowel sounds) of the word שנה, and change the formation of the word (but keeping the same root word), it can be read as לשנות, to change. If we want to have a “New” Year, we must change ourselves. However, what precedes שנה is the word ראש, head. If we want to truly change ourselves, we must change our heads (i.e.: our way of thinking, which is, all too often, flawed and mired in sin). When we are courageous and wise enough to change our heads (ראש השנה), we will be zocheh to a New Year – ראש השנה!
יום הזכרון – The Day of Remembrance. This is the day when Hashem remembers and examines all our deeds of the previous year. While I may forget, or while I may want to forget certain actions, Hashem always remembers. There is no “fast-forward” or “delete” (without sincere and authentic repentance) in the Heavenly Courts. There is only the long and slow playback of my year of deeds; as difficult as that may be. And once the Almighty remembers and examines our deeds, it is time for judgement…Which leads us to:
יום הדין – The Day of Judgement. After consideration of our mitzvos and otherwise, there is Divine Judgement of all the world’s inhabitants on this awesome day. With repentance, prayer and charity, we hope and pray that we will all be inscribed in the book of health, the book of life, the book of revealed blessings and only smachot…However, no matter what blessings we may be worthy of in the coming year, our happiness will remain incomplete until the long-awaited end of days…
יום תרועה – The Day of the Teruah (Shofar) Blast. It is our fervent hope and sincere prayer that as we Change our Heads, thereby changing ourselves (ראש השנה), Hashem will consider all of our deeds favorably, l’tova, as He remembers our actions (יום הזכרון). And as He remembers and considers our actions for the good, we will then be judged l’tova, and inscribed in the Sefer Ha’Chaim on Judgement Day (יום הדין).
However, our success is never fully realized, and our happiness is never complete, without יום תרועה – the day when Moshiach Tzidkainu, the righteous Messiah, will blow the Shofar of our Redemption. As we say every day in the Amidah, תקע בשופר גדול לחרותינו – Sound the great shofar for our freedom… With the ingathering of the exiles, with the ultimate redemption, with peace for our people and for our Land, then we will truly merit the Day of the Shofar Blast, may it be soon and in our time.
For on that great day, Hashem will be King over all the earth; on that day Hashem will be One and His Name One (Zechariah 14:9).
Wishing you, your families, and all of klal Yisrael, a year of nachas, bracha and much happiness and joy, with good health to enjoy it all.
,בברכת שבת שלום ושנה טובה ומתוקה