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Rosh Hashana Message

״וגילו ברעדה״!
   Typically, the Jewish calendar comes with very clear emotional directions. Adar is happy. "Mishenichnas Adar marbim b'simcha". Av is sad. "Mishenichnas Av mima'atin b'simcha". Sukkos is happy - after all it is z'man simchaseinu. 
However, Rosh Hashana is emotionally confusing. On the one hand, it is a frightening day of judgment. Our past is being laid out and scrutinized, and our future is being decided. 
   Yet, on the other hand, it is a day of happiness. The Posuk in Nechemia tells us regarding Rosh Hashona אכלו משמנים ושתו ממתקים וגו׳ כי חדות ה׳ היא מעזכם - "Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet beverages, etc. the enjoyment of Hashem is your strength". The Novi is clearly instructing us to be B'Simcha on Rosh Hashana.
   The Gemora tells us how the מלאכים ask Hashem, "Why is Klal Yisrael not singing Hallel on Rosh Hashana?" Hashem responds that given the severity of the day with Hashem judging us, it is inappropriate to sing Hallel. 
   The Mei Marom asks, "Didn't the מלאכים know on their own the gravity of the    day? Don't we say in the tefilla of U'nesaneh Toikef ״ומלאכים יחפזון וחיל ורעדה יאחזון ויאמרו הנה יום הדין״ - "angels will hasten and will be gripped by fear and they will say behold is the day of judgment?" If so, why did they ask the question? He answers that indeed they were aware of the seriousness of Rosh Hashana, but nevertheless, they asked, "How is it possible, on such a special occasion, when the Melech Malchei Hamelochim is coronated, that His chosen people would not sing, in spite of the severity of the day?"
   Rosh Hashana is a time for two strong emotions to pulse through us simultaneously - happiness and trepidation. They are not a contradiction. We have the capacity to feel both together. In fact, they complement each other to create a new mood that is unique to Rosh Hashana. וגילו ברעדה!
   May Hashem bentch each and every one of us and our families with a כתיבה וחתימה טובה, a year of nachas, simcha and accomplishment. And together with the rest of Klal Yisrael, we should be zoche to see the fulfillment of the נבואה of Yeshaya, ״שמחו את ירושלים וגילו בה כל אהביה״. 
Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784