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The Coronation

The Coronation

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The fundamental theme of Rosh Hashanah is the coronation of G‑d as King over us. A coronation is a solemn and awe-inspiring ceremony, and the holy trembling in every Jew’s heart at the onset of the “Days of Awe” goes far beyond fear of punishment. The specific term for this feeling is “yirat haromemut” (Awe of G‑d’s grandeur), fear stemming from each Jew’s contemplation of his personal role in the King’s coronation.

In addition to the collective aspects of Rosh Hashanah worship, the coronation renews each Jew’s personal bond with G‑d, his direct inner connection as an individual. Each man and woman personally asks G‑d to accept the coronation, thus creating the bond of “We are your people and You are our King.” Therefore we omit tachanun, the daily prayers of supplication, nor do we confess on Rosh Hashanah, although it is the first of the Ten Days of Repentance. For sorrow, however great, over past deeds is forgotten in the different mood the coronation evokes: oneness with G‑d and yirat haromemut.

Moreover, repentance then is not ordinary regret for the past and resolve for the future, but rather “teshuvah” according to its inner meaning: the soul’s return to its source. This spiritual service corresponds precisely to the renewed individual bond of the King’s coronation.

Only after the holiday does ordinary repentance commence, with confession and slichot, following as a necessary consequence of the coronation. Renewed oneness with G‑d evokes desire and resolve to be fit for such an exalted status, requiring vigorous effort to uproot anything which diminishes it, i.e. sin, and even inadvertent sin.

(Igrot Kodesh, vol. 22, p. 510)

Excerpted from Days Of Awe, Days Of Joy. Published and Copyright by Kehot Publication Society, Brooklyn NY 11213
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