Points to Ponder
Rosh Hashana 5776
Yom Teruah Mikrah Kodesh Zecher L’Yetzias Mitzrayim. HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon, Shlita, posed a straightforward but startling question: We understand how the Shalosh Regalim are rooted in Yetzias Mitzrayim. What, however, does Rosh Hashana have to do with Yetzias Mitzrayim--how is it a Zecher L’Yetzias Mitzrayim?! HaRav Salomon explains that, in truth, our experience at the Seder and over Pesach is supposed to leave a great and lasting impression upon us--to effect a change in our attitude. However, after the Seder, although one may feel uplifted, he does not really know what effect, what mark, the experience has made on his life. It is Rosh Hashana where the mark will be felt. The degree, the extent to which one feels that Hashem is omnipotent, and knows and sees all of one’s thoughts, words, and deeds, is the extent to which one has internalized the Yesodos HaEmunah that Yetzias Mitzrayim represents. Pesach is a time when welearn aboutHashem’s power, Sechar V’Onesh and Hashgacha Pratis. Rosh Hashana is a time when weliveour belief.
Ba’asher hu Sham: The Rabbis (Rosh Hashana 16b) note that a person is judged on Rosh Hashana based upon where he is up to in life. What he will become is immaterial (Think of Yishmael). Why then, is the Ben Sorer U’Moreh found guilty based upon HIS future? Rav Yerucham Levovitz ztl. explains that the Ben Sorer U’Moreh already possesses the “Sibah” the root of the sin. Merely possessing the Sibah alone is as if the cancer is in the person and is merely waiting to spread. Hence the Ben Sorer U’Moreh is judged based on his future. Yishmael, it would follow had not exhibited the signs of the danger he and his descendants would become famous for (After all, Yishmael eventually does Teshuvah). Rav Yerucham cautions his students that this is the danger of Sinas Chinam – it is worse than even the cardinal sins (Yoma 9b) because of the fact that it is the Sibah of so many Avairos.
Days of Awe or Aweful days? : The Rambam (Pirush Hamishnayos Rosh Hashana 32b) identifies that we do not say Hallel on Rosh Hashana because these are days of fear and we run away and toward Hashem. Rav Shach ztl. once asked how could it be that one both runs away and toward Hashem on Rosh Hashana? Citing the Brisker Rav, Rav Shach explained that the situation is like a punished child who at the time he wants to run from the punishing parent buries himself in the lap of the pparent. The same is true for us – we want to run but also to seek solace – it is the perfect combo of Aveinu Malkeinu.
Tekiyah and Shevarim: The Torah identifies the day as Yom Teruah yet in Chazal it is the Seder Hatekiyos. Why? Rav Chaim Druckman Shlita identified the Tekiyah as an unbroken connection connection to Hashem. That is man in the ideal relationship. However, sometimes man comes to Hashem through a broken process (this is the Teruah/Shevarim). In the end, one can straighten his life in connecting back in a straight means if it leads to Hashem (My Friend Rav Yaakov Glasser Shlita added that this may be part of the role of the duality in Avodas Yom Kippur – that of the pure blemishless Kohein Gadol and that of the Ish Iti who violates the sanctitiy of the day….)