Rosh Hashana 5771 Anthology

Posted by Aryeh ben Avraham | Labels: , , , , , , , , , , | Posted On Monday, 6 September 2010 at 13:26

Rosh Hashana 5771 Anthology

The Zohar

Teachings from the primary text of Kabbala, "The Book of Shining Light".

From the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai; translation & commentary by Shmuel Simcha Treister.

Our Portion for the Year

Rosh Hashanah is the head of the year of the king, and the king associated with this New Year is Isaac . Isaac, who is on the left side of the tree of the sefirot represents the sefira-attribute of gevura or "fear/awe.

Because Isaac, who is from the side of judgment, reigns at Rosh Hashanah, it is the time when all people are judged...order. Each receives their deserved portion thus setting the pattern for the whole year to come, each receiving the reward or punishment which has been decided based on past deeds.

The Holy Ari

Outstanding Kabbalist of the last 1800 years; Leader of the Safed circle of mystics.

Translated and edited from the Writings of the Ari as recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital by Moshe Yakov Wisnefsky.

Shofar Meditation

On Rosh Hashanah, the nature of the created universe is being re-determined. The energy that powered the previous year is withdrawn and a new energy is drawn down. Since the creative energy that powers the world is being withdrawn to its source, there are no "rules", and everything is, in a sense, up for grabs. The inner dimension of the lights of …chesed…-gevura-…tiferet…-…malchut… ascend into bina, withdrawing back into the womb where they originated, so to speak.

Evil can assert that it deserves to receive the new life force of the coming year, especially in view of the record of its so-called rightful recipients during the previous year. Therefore, in order that the life force of the new year be drawn down as it should, that is, channeled mainly into holiness (and its champions in this world, the Jewish people), it is necessary to ensure that G-d is "reminded," so to speak, of His original vision of Creation, in which the Jewish people are His emissaries to make this world into His home.

The renewed inner light returns when the shofar [ram's horn] is blown. The first blast is the straight tekia, the sweetening light of Abba/chochma, the original insight. The middle blasts (shevarim and terua) also indicate various aspects of severe judgement, the overall idea is to sweeten the judgments of the middle blasts by the simple straightforward blast of the tekia.

Chasidic Masters

From the teachings of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi; translated by Levy Wineberg.

Eyes on the Land

Rabbi Schneur Zalman wrote many letters in order to rouse Jewry to contribute generously to tzedaka in general and in particular for the sake of settling the Holy Land. In this letter, the author places singular emphasis on the merit of giving tzedaka for the Holy Land. Every year, he declares, charity should be given with more vitality and in greater volume, thus echoing the rhythm of the annually-renewed life-force that emanates from On High to the Holy Land.

Contemporary Kabbalists

By Binyomin Adilman.

The Task of Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgment. The scales are poised. Each person is judged according to his deeds (or lack of them). However, the Talmud explains that although most people, would they be involved in a court case where their life was on the line, would dress all in black and walk around sorrowfully, the Jewish People, are not like that. They put on white festive garments, eat, drink and remove all the worries of the impending judgment, instead throwing their trust totally upon G-d, confident of the impending verdict.

The Lecivitzer Rabbi used to explain: "…and the joy of G-d is your strength", the joy of G-d is that you put your total trust in Him. That is your strength.

The month of Elul is the appropriate time for the repentance and self-rectification a person needs to do. When the month of Tishrei comes, the service is different. The service of Tishrei and Rosh Hashanah is to declare the sovereignty of G-d over us, to re-crown Him as King and to nullify our will before His.

Ascent Lights

by Rabbi Shaul Yosef Leiter.

Sequencing Judgment and Atonement

The Haftorah of the second day of Rosh Hashanah focuses on Hannah, a childless woman. She vowed that if G-d would give her a son, she would dedicate his life to Divine service. Hannah was not asking for a child just to fulfill her maternal needs, but rather to show her commitment to G-d's kingship.

This is the model for our holiday prayers. We ask for our physical needs, and even if we are primarily concerned with them for selfish reasons, the essence of our prayer is an outpouring of the soul, longing to connect to and serve G-d. Just as Hannah was answered on Rosh Hashanah, so should G-d fulfill all of our requests for a good and sweet year.

Mystic Stories

Wonders and Inspiration from Kabbalists, Chasidic Rebbes, remarkable Jews.

By Yerachmiel Tilles

Caught in the Act

None would buy the great soul of R. Levi Yitzchak on Rosh Hashana.

Laws & Customs

By Yerachmiel Tilles.

Spiritual Throw-aways

In the traditional Tashlich ceremony on Rosh Hashana, we go to a body of living water, and beseech G-d to forgive us for our transgressions. The prayers that we recite there are based on a verse: "He will again have compassion upon us; He will suppress our iniquities. And Thou will cast all their sins in the depths of the sea."

When "the sea", or any water, is considered metaphorically to exemplify the power to nullify beyond retrieval, as well as purify, we can understand the Tashlich ceremony to be a sort of meditative aid in our process of genuine repentance. We wish to truly leave behind all of our past transgressions and personal faults, emerging cleansed in a state of renewal.

This Rosh Hashanah, may we merit to approach the life-giving source of all divine beneficence, our spiritual "stains" washed away.


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