(via CrownHeights.Info, a summary talk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the main concepts of Rosh Hashana [in brief]...)
1. The Talmud tells us that, “The Mitzvah of the day (of Rosh Hashanah) is blowing the Shofar”.
2. The Rebbe now quotes the Baal Shem Tov who explains the Shofar’s meaning:
The Baal Shem Tov explains the Shofar with a parable: Blowing the Shofar is like a child crying to his father and saying, “Father, father, save me”.
3. The Rebbe now quotes the previous Chabad Rebbe’im (leaders) who clarify and define this explanation of the Shofar:
The Previous Rebbe (Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson) said in the name of the previous Rebbe’im (leaders of Chabad) that a message was once sent to the Chassidim (followers) as follows:
“The main point of the Shofar parable is the child’s cry, not the content which was said during the cry”.
4. The Rebbe now explains this message of the Rebbe’im:
With regards to what is said during the crying, every Jew is different; every Jew has a different way of communicating their specific needs and desires to Hashem. However the crying itself is equal by all Jews; we are all crying from our depths.
How do we all cry out as one and have Hashem hear our prayers? When we blow the Shofar.
5. The Rebbe now quotes Rebbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev who explains the process of blowing the Shofar:
When blowing the Shofar we first make a blessing on it and then we blow the Shofar.
Reb Levi Yitzchok explains this with a parable: There was once a child who wanted an apple and his father did not want to give it to him. The child went ahead and made a blessing on the apple right then and there, and the father was forced to give the child the apple so that he could eat it and fulfill the blessing he just made so that it wouldn’t be a wasted blessing (Bracha L’vatala).
So too, when we make the blessing before we blow the Shofar, “Blessed are you Hashem (G-d) our G-d who is the King of the universe who hears the sounds/cries of his people Israel with pity”, we are so to speak forcing Hashem to hear our cries with pity and give us what we want spiritually and in physically (children, life/health, and wealth)!
To add: In the parable of Rebbi Levi Yitzchak, the father originally did not want to give the child what he wanted, and never the less when the child made the blessing the father gave him what he wanted. How much more so with regards to Hashem our Father who wants to give us what we want more then our own desire to have it; when we make a blessing and then blow the Shofar, he gives us what we want.
6. The Rebbe now adds even more “fire” to this idea:
The rule regarding blessings is; “If you are in doubt, you cannot make the blessing” . [Editors addition: For example, if you are chewing on an apple and it dawns on you, “Did I make a blessing on this apple? I think I did but I am not so sure…”, then you do not make the blessing, because if you have already made one, you would be wasting one now].
Therefore, if our Sages determined that we must make the blessing, “Blessed are you Hashem our G-d who is the King of the universe who hears the sounds/cries of his people Israel with pity”; they have in fact just determined that Hashem must hear the sounds/cries of his people because if they would have even a smidgen of a doubt whether Hashem hears the Shofar or not, we would not be allowed to make a blessing to that effect, because, “If you are in doubt, you cannot make the blessing”!
Moreover, since Hashem is the One Who is giving us, and His hands are “full, open, Holy, and broad”, we must be receiving the blessings for children, life/health, and wealth in abundance.
5. The Previous Rebbe was very into making summaries. This is the summary of the whole forty eight hours of Rosh Hashanah:
The Jewish people accept Hashem as their king and that they will serve Him, and in return, Hashem, so to speak, accepts the yoke of the Jewish people, that He will give them their rain in its time and all the good things which they need.
Translated and adapted by Shalom Goldberg. Taken from Likutei Sichos volume two. Published on CrownHeights.Info.
Monday, September 29, 2008
// 9/29/2008 //