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Purchasing a New Knife for Rosh Hashanah

Purchasing a New Knife for Rosh Hashanah

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Question:

I heard that there is a custom to buy a new kitchen knife every year for use on Rosh Hashanah. Did you ever hear of this, and, if so, what is the reason for this tradition?

Answer:

Though this is not a common custom, a little research confirmed the existence of such a tradition, and also provided its reasoning.

G‑d is the One in charge of everything, yet He does have a whole slew of ministering angels who carry out His orders.

"Chatach," (חתך), which means "cut," is the name of the angel in charge of livelihood.

Consider that the final letters of the Hebrew words, פותח את ידך, "You open up Your hand" (Psalms 145:16), spell "chatach." Additionally, the word that follows in the verse, "u'masbe'a" – "and satisfy [the desire of every living being]" has the numerical value of 428 – the same value as the word "chatach."

For this reason, purchasing a new, sharp knife is a segulah (spiritually propitious), for livelihood, which we petition from G‑d for the upcoming year.1

May G‑d inscribe you and your family, and all the Jewish people, for a year abundant in livelihood—and everything good!

Best wishes for a good and sweet year!

Rabbi Eliezer Danzinger for Chabad.org

FOOTNOTES
1.

Nitei Gavriel 11:10.

Rabbi Eliezer Danzinger, first content editor for KabbalaOnline.org, is the translator and editor of several important chassidic texts. He also serves as the Jewish chaplain for York Central Hospital, and for numerous Federal prisons. Rabbi Danzinger currently resides in Toronto, Canada, with his wife, Yehudis, and their children.
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Discussion (5)
September 7, 2010
Purchasing Knife and Rosh Hashanah Torah Portions
The knife brings to mind the Brit Milah (circumcision), corresponding to the Torah portion on the first day of Rosh Hashanah which describes the first circumcision that was accomplished on the 8th day (on Isaac).

The knife is a reminder of teshuvah (return to G-d; repentance), the first step of sins being cut off.

The knife also brings to mind the second day of Rosh Hashanah Torah portion. Abraham took a knife, wood, and fire to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. The knife was used for the second step, on the ram for the required blood sacrifice in place of Isaac, to remove the sins.

Isaac became a living sacrifice, a patriarchal example of a holy life with the fire of Torah burning within.

The ram is a metaphor for Moshiach. The word “ram’s horn” - “yovel”, is the same word for “Jubilee”.

By G-d providing the sacrifice of the ram caught in the tree, Isaac was set free – Jubilee.

Thus, purchasing a new knife would be a reminder of this, to be a living sacrifice.

Anonymous
Antioch, California
September 3, 2010
Segula
I am new at this, have just adopted your beliefs and have found a blessed way of living because of it. I am curious what is to be done with the knife once it is purchased?
Anonymous
Washington, DC
September 21, 2009
Purchasing a knife...
I have just leant the beautiful insight on the above mention...could be prudent then for one to buy the knife after the Feast?
alex KUBI
Mombasa, Kenya
September 25, 2008
RE: Rochal Grunberg, from Israel
This segulah is mentioned by the Zidichaver Rebbe, the Neshchizer Rebbe, and the Rebbe of Lublin. I don't know when exactly these Rebbes lived or what their first names are. I just saw them mentioned in Nitei Gavriel, Hilchos Rosh Hashanah, chapter 19, footnote 7. If you look there you can also see the names of their books, and probably get more info.
Moshe F.
September 7, 2007
segula for parnassa
Please could you elaborate where segula originated, and or who it was used by.
Thank you
rochal gruenberg
beitar illit, israel
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