Hashem bless you, your entire family and all of those who are
dear to you together with the entire Jewish people with a
healthy, happy, prosperous successful and sweet new year and may
we see the redemption through Moshiach immediately!
Although Rosh Hashanah is Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the
Hebrew month), this Shabbat we do not say Birkat Hachodesh (The
blessing for the new month that is recited the Shabbat before
each new month). This is in keeping with the allusion to Rosh
Hashanah as Bakesseh, which means hidden. The customs of saying
the entire Tehillim (Psalms) and having a special gathering in
honor of Shabbat Mevarchim, both instituted by the Previous
Rebbe, Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchock Schneerson, in order to elicit
Hashem’s blessings, are observed this Shabbat. The Baal Shem Tov
taught that Hashem Himself blesses the upcoming month this
Shabbat, and with the power of His blessing the Jewish people
bless the other eleven months.
This Shabbat we read the portion of Nitzavim, which is always
read before Rosh Hashanah. The opening of the portion teaches a
lesson that is central to our approach to the High Holidays. The
portion begins “You are all standing today united before Hashem
your G-d; from the heads of your tribes… until your water
carriers to enter the covenant of Hashem.”
Alter Rebbe explains in Likutei Torah that this verse refers to
Rosh Hashanah. The Torah teaches that our connection with Hashem
is a covenant. A covenant is a bond that transcends logic. When
two people have a great love for each other, they create a
covenant, a bond, so that even if at some point they have
difficulties with each other or they don’t see each other for a
period of time, they remain united. The exact term in the verse
is ‘L’avrcha Bivrit” which means to pass through a covenant. The
ancient way of making a covenant was to slice something in half
and for both parties to pass through, symbolizing that they
became as one body. Our connection with Hashem is a covenant.
Even if we have strayed, we are one.
Torah says that we must stand as one. Unity is the key to Rosh
Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the day when we coronate Hashem as
our King. In the Rosh Hashanah prayers we say “There shall be in
Yeshurun a King when then people are gathered, the tribes of
are united.” When there is unity, we can accept Hashem’s
Kingship. When there is a divided nation, we diminish the
Further, unity is there source of all blessings. When Hashem
sees His children united, it awakens His love and forgiving.
Each day way pray, “Barcheinu Avinu Kulanu K’echad B’or Panecha”
which means bless us our Father all together in your
countenance. When there is unity, there is blessing.
Further, unity is the key to Moshiach’s coming. Strife was that
cause of the destruction of the
and unity will be the key to the coming of Moshiach.
path to unity is illuminated in the verse. The Torah says that
you are all standing in front of Hashem. When I look at my
neighbor I must remember that just as Hashem made me an integral
part of His creation, so did He make my neighbor. Helping my
neighbor reach his perfection helps my reach mine. In Hashem’s
eyes we are all limbs of one body: if limbs are in conflict,
they damage themselves.
Further, in order for our prayers to be answered, we must look
at others with the perspective that we want Hashem to view us.
Throughout the prayers, we beseech Hashem to overlook our
mistakes and view us as the children of the forefathers. We must
look at each other in that vein in order to elicit the same
approach by Hashem. The upcoming year is a year of Hakhel, when
the entire Jewish people gathered in the
to hear words of Torah, and the message of unity is intensified
portion concludes with Hashem’s vow to the forefathers to give
to the Jewish people. May we immediately merit that the entire
by returned to us forever and we will celebrate the great Hakhel
through the coming of Moshiach.