Parashat Haazinu/Rosh Hashanah

L'ilui Nishmat Malka bat Garaz by the Marcus Family

Parashat Haazinu/Rosh Hashanah

This weeks Perasha is written as a song to B'nei Yisrael which culminates from the previous perashiot where Moshe spoke to the Jewish people of all the good that Hashem will bestow upon them if they follow in the ways of the Torah. He also told them of the calamities that will befall them if they stray to follow the ways of the goyim and don't follow the Torah. This speech Moshe gave as they were about to leave the desert to enter the land that Hashem promised to our forefathers. Moshe also expressed the ultimate joy that will come to them as they were about to enter the land of Israel and keep the ways of the Torah until our final redemption!

Now 3300 years later we are the later generations that are bound by the words of Moshe from last weeks parasha Vayelech where it says (29:13-14), "It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, but with whoever is standing here with us today before Hashem and with whoever is not here with us today". The commentators point out that since all the Israelites were present there, the phrase "whoever is not here with us today" can only mean the generations not born yet, which is all of us. The upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah is a gift of retrospection that Hashem gave to all of us. Below is a list of the mindsets that we must all keep in mind and focus on for the holiday, especially for the prayers with the main focus being on #1...that Hashem is the Kingand that this is His inauguration that we celebrate each and every year so that we may accept and internalize this concept into our daily lives!

1. “Hashem is our King.” This is the theme of all our Rosh Hashana Prayers. We want the whole world to know that as well.

2. We, as servants of Hashem, must be humble towards G-d and our fellow man. (The shofar is bent in shape to remind us to also bend ourselves when dealing with people). All our requests are for gifts and donations, we have no demands from Hashem.

3. We aren’t asking for a raise (just for last year’s health and happiness and more). We lost our lease and nothing can be taken for granted...our past performance does not guarantee what our future brings.

4. Not only are we asking for future success, we appreciate everything we received last year (One can have that in mind at “Modim.”) You can’t ask for more gifts without first saying thank you for the gifts we already received.

5. Strengthen your belief in the power of prayer, especially during these ten days. Respect prayer (no idle talk in shul or talking during Hazara, etc.) If you don’t respect the prayers, they cant help you.

6. I view myself as part of Klal Yisrael (the Jewish people). We are one body. I realize I can’t stand on my own merit. Become a person that the Jewish people need and that is a merit for a good judgment.

7. Prepare in your mind a new years resolution (an area in religion that you will strengthen yourself in) so you will be considered a penitent person. Preferably this resolution should be taken on before the Musaf prayers.

8. All the requests that I have are so that I can use them to serve Hashem better (For God’s sake). Charge it to the company account.

9. Think of all the success and tragedies that happened in the past year and realize that they were all decided last year on the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashana can be a day of turnaround (eg., Iyov lost everything and Sarah Imenu and Hana were remembered for children).

10. Mixed emotions – Fear and Faith: In order to really count on Hashem and have bitahon, one must first realize the severity of the situation. I am in trouble (even though all seems well) because I am being judged on the upcoming year. Hashem is the only One that I can count on.

11. Be easy going in shul and at home. The way you act towards others and the way you judge others is the way Hashem will act towards you. Take advantage of opportunities that come to you to give in to the demands of others.

12. Rosh Hashana is the day that commemorates creation. Notice Hashem’s “design and purpose” in all of creation (Rabbi Miller zt’l’s style).

13. Be on your best behavior on the holiday. (Pretend the building inspector is on the building site and everything must be done according to the building code.)

14. Rosh Hashanah is a new beginning. Don’t think about the past, just look forward and start fresh!

May we all truly appreciate all the good that Hashem..."Avinu Malkenu" our Father and our King has bestowed upon us, our family and our community, and may we have a clear Torah understanding of the value of what our obligation is in this world so that we may all earn a special place in Olam Habah! Amen!

Shabbat Shalom and Tizku Leshanim Rabot!

Jack E. Rahmey with the Guidance and Teachings of

Rabbi Amram Sananes

Leiluiy Nishmat....

Eliyahu Ben Rachel Malka Bat Garaz

Sarah Bat Chanah Rabbi Shimon Chay Ben Yaasher

Shulamit Bat Helaina Meir Ben Latifa

Batsheva Bat Sarah Esther Esther Bat Sarah

Rav Haim Ben Rivka Rabbi Meyer Ben Chana

Yitzchak Ben Adele Rafael Ben Miriam

Chanah Bat Esther Moshe Ben Mazal

Moshe Ben Garaz Avraham Ben Mazal

Avraham Ben Garaz Ovadia Ben Yosef

Yaakov Ben Rachel