Rosh HaShana: The Epitome of G-d's Kindness
By Rabbi Yehudah Prero
The meaning of the
words Rosh HaShana literally is "Head (beginning) of the year." However, this
holiday carries much more significance than merely being the day on which a
new calendar becomes necessary.
The Sefer HaChinuch explains that Rosh HaShana is the day on which the whole
world is judged. Each individual creature is judged as an individual. This
judging has been compared to sheep passing in single file under the watchful
eye of the shepherd. Just as each sheep is scrutinized alone, separate from
the flock, so too are we judged on Rosh HaShana, as individuals, separate
from everyone else.
Why do we have a day of judgment? The Sefer HaChinuch explains further that
this holiday on which we are judged is truly a kindness of Hashem. Hashem,
because we have this yearly holiday, reviews our deeds yearly, thereby
preventing our sins from amassing. As we "only" have to deal with our sins
one year at a time, there is still room for repentance and atonement.
Furthermore, as Hashem judges us with kindness, if there are few sins, they
are pardoned. If there are sins for which punishment is needed to cleanse the
person, the punishment is exacted in small doses, bit by bit. If the
accounting of our deeds did not take place on a yearly basis, our sins would
accumulate until the point that Hashem would decide to end the existence of
the world, because of all the evil and disregarding of His words.
Rosh HaShana is the day which ensures the continued existence of the world.
It is therefore fitting to have this day as a holiday. However, as this is
the day on which we are judged, it is only proper that we conduct ourselves
on Rosh HaShana with a level of fear and awe not seen on other festivals.
This is the reason why we do not say "Hallel" (a special prayer of praises of
Hashem): It is not fitting for a person to sing songs of praise while
standing in judgment.
Check out all of the posts on Elul and Rosh HaShana. Head over to
http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/ to access the YomTov Page. Then click on the icon for the holiday of your choice.
For questions, comments, and topic requests, please write to Rabbi Yehudah Prero.
A Yom Kippur to Remember
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760
Merits, Middles and Majorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5764
Thoughts About Prayer Before Yom Kippur
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773
Our Next Big Move!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764
Return... to Where?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757
A Happy Day
Shlomo Katz - 5769
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772
Did You Hear?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769
On A Personal Note
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773
Ideas for Inspiration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760
The Role of Teshuvah
Shlomo Katz - 5759
I am a Work in Progress
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760
Yom Kippur and the Pathways to Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756
I Want To Come Home, But I Don't Know If Dad Will Let Me In
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5775
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763