A Thought for the Week
Rosh Hashanah 5761
On the first day of Rosh Hashana this year we dont blow the Shofar. Its Rosh HaShana but we dont blow the Shofar because its Shabbos. So what? The Talmud explains that there might be someone, somewhere, that will carry the Shofar on Shabbos in a place without an Eiruv, so therefore we all just dont do the Mitzvah. Unbelievable. A Mitzvah we wait for all year we give up and put aside, just because maybe one Jew, somewhere, will carry on Shabbos.
The fact that some Jew, somewhere, might break the Shabbos because of this Mitzvah renders the whole mitzvah non-worthwhile - because on Rosh Hashana we come close to Hashem as a people, not as individuals. On Rosh Hashana we accept and proclaim the majesty, the malchus of Hashem. One persons Chilul Shabbos decreases the majesty of Hashem, it diminishes His kingdom, and so we put the Mitzvah aside.
As we usher in the New Year and the Yom Tov we pray that all the tzoros of last year be done with. Sickness, wars, terrorism, earthquakes, divorce, poverty, Tzaar gidul banim so many problems with our children, anti-Semitism, Tichle Shana Vekilliloseho.
Rosh Hashana gives us a clear board. In order for there to be a clean slate with G-d there needs to first be a fresh start between us. Otherwise Rosh Hashana does not work. Before we begin the New Year, let us pause for a moment and in our minds erase the board. Let go of our grudges and complaints. Start fresh. Try again. Lets start off the year with all of Hashems Brachos: health, nachas, peace. Let the Brachos begin! Tochel Shana ubirchoseha. Good Yom Tov! May you all be inscribed on a clean fresh page of life!
Rabbi Yaacov Haber
Rabbi Haber is the OU's National Director of Jewish Education and the spiritual leader of the OU's Pardes Program
Comments and questions are very welcome
"A tree of life for those who embrace it"