Rosh Hashana 5775

September 22, 2014

If Rosh Hashana is the Yom Hadin – the day of Judgement and Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, wouldn’t it be more logical to have Yom Kippur first? Firstly atone for your sins, find forgiveness and then be judged.

The answer lies in properly understanding the nature of judgment on Rosh Hashana. We are not being judged on our past actions, but rather on our vision, plan, and desire for the upcoming year. Rosh Hashana reenacts the creation of mankind. But mankind had NO past.
Based on what we truly want on the first day of the new year, we are granted the spiritual and physical potential for the upcoming year.

Who shall live and who shall die? Not in the PAST year but in the next year.

We are asking for another year of life. Why? What are we going to do with another year? The same old same old? Or are we going to be better? Better Jews? Better people?

Are we looking to get a better wage? Decorate the house? Change the car? Fine, nothing wrong with that. But are we going to grow spiritually as well as materially? Are we going to let our souls grow by studying the Torah and keeping the mitzvot? Are we going to do more chesed and give more charity next year than this?

The Alter of Navardok told the story of a man who was told that he had taken the wrong train and was going in the wrong direction. No problem, he said, I will just change seats and face the other direction, then everything will be ok!

This is the challenge of Rosh Hashana. Are we willing to change?

On Rosh Hashana we enthrone HaShem as our King and ask Him to write us in the book of life for another year. We have ten days to show Him that we are willing to change. We are willing to be better. The first ten days of the year are so important. They set the tone for the whole year. Start as you mean to go on! Having shown that we can change and be better, we will surely find forgiveness on Yom Kippur.

Ketiva vachatima tovah.

Meir Wise

לזכר ולעילו נשמת מורי ורבי הגאון הרב משה טורעצקי זצ״ל ביום הזכרון שלו זכותו תגן עלינו

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