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Brief insights into the nature of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, culled from the teachings of the Chabad Rebbes.

Rosh Hashanah Readings

Rosh Hashanah Readings

Brief Thoughts from the Rebbes

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The Coronation
The fundamental theme of Rosh Hashanah is the coronation of G-d as King over us. 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.”
Acceptance of His Kingship
G-d’s coronation requires the complete acceptance of the yoke of Heaven in every detail of one's daily life.
Fusing Opposites
On one hand, man is created in a measured and limited form, with a defined and exact number of limbs; and on the other hand, G-d bestows unlimited potential upon him, so that he can make the world an infinite dwelling for G-d.
Guests in the Palace
Man is the honored guest of the world, who finds everything prepared and ready for him. However, at the same time, he is also cast in the role of servant. Whatever his surroundings, man is able and obligated to bring them to a higher perfection, thus becoming a “Partner with G-d in the work of creation.”
Judgment on Rosh Hashanah
There are two distinctions between the judgement on Rosh Hashanah and the judgement of a person in the afterlife.
Not Given to be Given Away
One who thinks that his own mission can be performed by another should consider Adam. Adam could not hand his responsibilites over to someone else, for there was no one else.
Psalms with Tears
"Once I met some Jewish soldiers, who told me that they had the custom to say Psalms while polishing the buttons of their uniforms for inspection..."
Self-Judgement
On Rosh Hashanah, a person is not only judged by Heaven, but also by himself. One should not question one’s ability to influence the world.
Shofar, Repentance...
What brings a Jew to feel the need for G-d’s Kingship, so that he asks G-d to accept the coronation and accept him as a servant?
The Day of Man’s Creation
The Torah does not particularly distinguish the day the world was created from the rest of the days of the year. Rosh Hashanah actually comemorates the sixth day of the creation, the day of man’s creation.
The Sound of the Shofar
The sound of the shofar is a simple tone, without leters and speech. Therefore it is called “tekiah” -- a word also used for pounding in a stake -- for this point is “sunk” in the heart in a manner of utmost simplicity.
Thousands of Words
Not wishing to miss an opportunity, the Chassidim immediately went out and started saying Psalms out loud.
Hannah Did Not Go Up
Contemporary society has embraced an ethic of giving supreme value to public life, especially the world of work. However, all vocations are secondary from the perspective that recognizes the importance of the life of the home, the nucleus from which one's Torah life emanates.
The Best Education
There are many pressures on a parent to make the education of his children conform to the prevailing modes of the secular world. But the fundamental concept of the haftorah is that a person may not rest until he has given one more Jewish child the best Torah education.
On the Ten Days of Repentance
A selection of brief thoughts on the significance of the Ten Days of Repentance.
On Rosh Hashanah, the plaintive call of the shofar acts to sweeten the severity of G‑d’s judgment and draw divine kindness and life upon all of creation on this Day of Judgement.
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