"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rosh Hashanah: Also about spiritual blessings

It is written: “For it [Rosh Hashanah] is a decree for Israel, a [day of] judgment for the G-d of Yaakov” (Tehillim 81:5).

“Decree” refers to Hashem’s judgment concerning material blessings, while “judgment for the G–d of Yaakov” refers to the judgment concerning the amount of G–dliness and spiritual blessings the person will receive in the coming year (Likkutei Torah, Rosh Hashanah 55d ff.; Sefer HaMa’amarim 5710, p. 15).

So on Rosh Hashanah not only are we judged for material blessings, but also spiritual ones. Now, at first glance, this seems difficult to comprehend. Isn’t every person granted free choice in spiritual matters?

The answer: In any given situation, one can choose whether to follow the path of Hashem, or otherwise. But which situation the person will find himself in is beyond his control:

-He may be trapped in a place where he can’t wear Tefillin for many months. He may even be a Jew who unfortunately was never taught that he is obligated to lay the Tefillin. Or he may be free to not only lay Tefillin himself, and with full awareness of its deeper meaning, but he may also have the opportunity to encourage other Jews to lay Tefillin.

-He could be so harried that he barely ever has a moment to study Torah. Or he could have the privilege of being in a Yeshivah environment, in which he is free to study Torah all day.

-He may never have the opportunity to davven with a minyan. He may be able to davven with a minyan, but never have mental clarity and the ability to focus on the meaning of the words of prayer. Or he may have a clear head, and the opportunity and ability to davven at length for hours on end.

-He might be forced to work together with crooks or criminals, and have to fight valiantly to maintain his integrity. Or he may be earning a great deal of money without confronting any temptation to dishonesty.

On Rosh Hashanah we beseech Hashem: Please, don’t test us; on the contrary, make it easier for us to learn, to davven, to perform Mitzvos. Bring people into our lives—friends and acquaintances, mentors and leaders—who will act a positive influences on us. Bring people into our lives whom we can guide on the right path. Bring us many opportunities—pleasant ones—to come closer to you. Bring us close to You so that our sins are behind us, and so that if we must be tested, we no longer be tested with sin, but with the opportunity to push ourselves further to do still more good deeds.

And most of all, send us Moshiach NOW!

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