Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday's Mini Vort on Rosh Hashanah

As regular readers of this blog are aware, the Monday post is usually devoted to sports with a link to a Torah moral or value. With Rosh Hashanah around the corner, I have skipped the sports thought (no, it is NOT because the Jets lost to the Raiders yesterday) in favor of a mini vort which I heard from R' Mansour recently.

R' Mansour asked the following question which seems logical, but I never heard or thought to ask - why is it that there is no mitzva to go up to Yerushalayim for Rosh Hashanah? There is a mitzva of aliyah l'regel for Sukkos, why not just come up two weeks early for Rosh Hashanah as well?

R' Mansour answered the question by quoting the Sfas Emes. The Sfas Emes quotes a gemara in Rosh Hashanah which asks - how do we get a favorable judgment on Rosh Hashanah - by saying pesukim which form the malchios and zichronos and shofros and with the shofar. However, the shofar cannot come from a cow as it would be a reminder of the golden calf, and the shofar cannot be a prosecutor and defense attorney at the same time.

The gemara in Rosh Hashanah then asked what about the clothing of the kohen gadol? The kohen gadol does not wear golden clothes in the avodah in the Beis Hamikdash as it is a reminder of the golden calf. However, for some of the avodah he does wear golden clothes, albeit outside of the inner chamber of the Beis Hamikdash - how can this be? The gemara answers that the gold clothes are only removed when outside of the kodesh kodashim so that there is no reminder of the golden calf.

The gemara then asks - but what about the shofar? It is also not blown in the kodesh kodashim, so why can't we use the cow's horn? The gemara answers that when the shofar is blown it is as if the one listening is in the holy of holies. Regardless of where a person is, at the moment of tekiyas shofar a person is transported before Hashem.

The Sfas Emes explains that this is the reason why a person does not need to be oleh regel on Rosh Hashana. On Pesach a person needs to go to Yerushalayim to be oleh regel, but on Rosh Hashana we are transported by merely hearing the shofar.

R' Mansour stated that this underscores the value of listening to the shofar. The kohen gadol had to prepare for seven days before doing the avodah. We must be prepared to hear the shofar and to be transported to the Beis Hamikdash.

R' Mansour brought a gematria to support his point - the gematria of Beis Hamikdash is 861. The gematria of Rosh Hashanah is also 861. The two are equal and this is the secret of Rosh Hashanah.

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Yaakov said...

Very nice There are 6/7 meals on a 3 day yom tov this will bli neder be said at 1 of those meals

avraham bukspan said...

saw another take on this which answers a few other things

What is the intent in calling the Aseres Yimei Teshuva, Yomim Noroyim-Days of Awe?
Imrei Noam writes that the word Rosh Hashanah-ראש השנה- has the same Gematria as Beis Hamikdash-בית המקדש; 861.

This is explained to mean that the Kedusha that is normally found in the Beis Hamikdash, (which contains ten levels) commencing Rosh Hashana begins spreading out and enveloping the world, with the Kedusha getting stronger every one of the ten days. On the tenth day, Yom Kippur we are living in the level of Kodesh Hakedoshim.

This explains why we do not have Aliya Liregel on the two holiest days of the year-Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We do not have to go to Him, He has come to us!

Also that is why only during this time we bow on the ground-something only done in the Beis Hamikdash -because we are in that same level of Kedusha,.The sanctity of Bais Hamikdash is here. We are in Hashems` presence, we therefore bow.

Also the Chazan starts Shachris from his seat saying “Hamelech" then walks to the Aron Kodesh amd continues the prayer. This is unlike the rest of the year when he commences with Hamelech or Shochen Ad from in front of the Holy Ark.
Why the switch?
All year we go in front of the thing we most closely associate with Hashem; the Torah in the Aron and call out Hamelech or Shochen Ad. On these days we don’t have to go to him - he is where we are!!

This now is the meaning of Yomim Noraim......

Yakkov when he woke up from his vision said “Ma Norah Hamakom Hazeh" “How awesome is this place”. [The place being the eventual spot of the Beis Hamikdash]

The Beis Hamikdash is the Makom Norah -- These are the Yomim Noraim. The same presence of Hashem is here now; we just have to tap into it….