Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

28 Elul 5763 - September 25, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Malchuso Bakol Mosholoh -- His Kingdom Will Rule All

by Mordecai Plaut

Despite all the high-power, high pressure, high technology of the modern world, our observance of Rosh Hashanah (and most of the mitzvos of the Torah) is pretty low-tech. We still take a ram's horn and blow it as commanded in our 3000-year- old Torah, and we spend much of the day in prayer focusing on Malchuyos, Zichronos and Shoforos, as codified by Chazal more than 2,500 years ago. We rejoice and enjoy our yom tov meals as charged by Nechemiah (8:10).

With all the changes that have taken place in the past century or so, the way we spend our day of Rosh Hashonoh is substantially the same as the way our community has spent it for thousands of years, even outwardly. We perform the same mitzvos, pray the same prayers, eat the same kind of food and, importantly, hopefully think the same thoughts. We should feel our solidarity with generations of ordinary, simple, good Jews whose Rosh Hashonoh was the same as ours.

This is especially appropriate on Rosh Hashonoh, as one of the main tasks of the day is our personal acceptance of Hashem which, together with the acceptance of our brethren around the world, makes Hashem into the King. On those days we crown Hashem, each with his or her own individual perspective and understanding, just as all our brethren do today and our forefathers did in all the generations previously, and our children will continue to do.

The main thing today is not what happens in the corridors of political power, whether in Washington, DC, or Jerusalem, nor in the halls of financial power nor in the cultural powers in universities nor the trend setters of the media. All these nowadays are manifestly corrupt and decadent, even as they continue to make tremendous noise and to fancy themselves the movers and shakers of the modern world.

The main thing is for us to accept the rule of Hashem on Rosh Hashonoh and throughout the year.

More than any other yom tov, Rosh Hashonoh emphasizes the community. Although we can fulfill the mitzvos by ourselves, it is preferable to hear shofar and to daven with the community (when there is no overriding responsibility for a sick or elderly person or a child).

The more people there are, the greater is the glory of the King. The glory of our King is what the Jewish people is all about.

The Alter of Kelm used to post a notice throughout Elul on the door of his yeshiva, explaining that the creation of a community of people who accept Hashem as king through broad unity is the prerequisite to successful Malchuyos on Rosh Hashonoh. He recommended undertaking to fulfill the commandment of "Love your friend as yourself" in order to ensure this essential component of Hashem's rule.

For thousands of years, all over the world, this has been our focus on Rosh Hashonoh. Whatever the latest fads and fashions, this is our goal. Whoever subscribes to this, is part of our community. No matter what the outside context is, this is the content of the Jewish Rosh Hashonoh.

And if we are successful, then we will be zoche that Hashem will also rule, alone, over all His creations.

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