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  KD MAGAZINE!      ב"ה                    
 
 
  ROSH HASHANAH  
 

By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

ROSH HASHANAH - BY RABBI YONASSAN BIGS, CHABAD  ראש השנה - מאת הרב יונתן ביגס, חב"ד

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Shalom and Bracha!

     May Hashem inscribe and seal you and all of your family and all who are dear to you in the book of life for a good and sweet year brimming with health, happiness, wealth, peace, success, fulfillment and joy.

     The primary Mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is the Mitzvah of the Shofar, the ram’s horn. The Shofar has many aspects. Firstly, it reminds us of the binding of Yitzchak, which occurred on and is read in the Torah in Rosh Hashanah. When Avraham showed his readiness to sacrifice his son, Hashem told him not to. He sacrificed a ram instead. The ram’s horn serves as a reminder both to us and to Hashem. It reminds us that when we accept Hashem’s Kingship, it must be a full acceptance. It reminds Hashem of the tremendous devotion of our forefathers and that He should grant us a good year in their merit.

  Further, the Shofar reminds us of the giving of the Torah. The entire time the Torah was given, the sound of the Shofar was heard. This reminds us to rededicate ourselves to the Torah and Hashem to bless us because of our acceptance of the Torah.

  The Rambam writes that although the Shofar is a decree of Hashem, and must be followed without knowing the reason, it serves as a wake up call. Throughout the year we are overwhelmed with mundane pursuits and forget our Divine purpose. The Shofar wakes us up to return to Hashem. The eerie sound of the Shofar awakens within us our innate awe of G-d. The Shofar is also a symbol of coronation, because on Rosh Hashanah we crown Hashem as our King. The sound of the Shofar also hints to a person crying. When we stand before Hashem on Rosh Hashanah and reflect on our mistakes, we cry for forgiveness and acceptance.

  There are two beautiful parables concerning the Shofar from the Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. There was once a King who went hunting. As he traveled deep into the forest, he became separated from his royal entourage. When he reached a road, no one recognized him. Whomever he approached laughed at him for claiming to be the king. Finally, one wise person listened carefully and thought deeply and recognized that he must be the king. He returned him to the palace and the throne. In gratitude, the king made him his viceroy and gave him great wealth. Eventually, the man abused his power and was to be punished by the king. He told the king that he has but one request: they both should don the same garments they wore on the day they met. The king acquiesced, and as he donned the hunting garb he recalled what it was like to be without a kingdom and his mercies were aroused. He forgave the viceroy who returned to his glory. When Hashem created the world, He wished that His Kingship be should recognized by all. The Midrash teaches that Hashem offered the Torah to all of the nations. Only the Jewish people accepted. At that time, the sound of the Shofar was heard. Each year, on the Day of Judgment, we don the “garment” of the Shofar and Hashem grants us a good year.

  Another parable is of a king who sent his prince to a distant land in order to mature and accomplish outside of the palace. The prince quickly squandered his resources and began to assimilate with the common folk. After time, he lost his royal garments and tongue and any semblance of royalty. After a time, he decided to return to his father. When he reached the palace gates, the guards refused him, because he had neither royal garments nor tongue. After trying to enter again, they beat him. He cried from the depths of his heart, “Father! Save me!” Upon hearing his voice, the king came down from his chamber and brought his son into the palace. Hashem sends a soul to this world to follow the paths of Torah. Sometimes, we are lacking in the “garments of Mitzvot or the royal language. When we blow the Shofar, the cry of the heart, Hashem welcomes us and grants us a good year.

  The final meaning of the Shofar is that the sound we will hear announcing the coming of Moshiach is the Great Shofar. May we speedily hear the Great Shofar of the redemption this year!

L’shana Tovah Tikateiv V’teichateim!

May you be written and inscribed for a good year!

 Rabbi Biggs

  Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/
 
 

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