by Mordecai Plaut
Malchuso Bakol Mosholoh -- His Kingdom Will Rule
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
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
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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