Monday, August 30, 2010

A happy day or a serious day?

20th of Elul, 5770

In less than ten days, the night of Wednesday September 8thwe will be celebrating Rosh Hashana, (New Year) 5771.
To understand the dual aspectof this Holiday let me share with you a question that was asked to Rabbi Obadia Yosef. A Chazan (cantor) asked Rabbi Yosef if the melodies of Rosh haShana’s prayers should be joyful or grim and solemn?

If we understand the nature of this question we will understand the nature of Rosh haShana.
From one side, Rosh haShana is a Yom Tob, a very happy festive day in which we bless each other wishing to have a good and sweet year. For this we do a Seder that B’H we will explain tomorrow.
We also convey to each other a second wish: ‘life’. We wish each other literally to be alive, ‘one more year’. We realize our fragility and absolute dependence on God’s mercy, thus, recovering our dormant sense of mortality.Upon realizing that ‘life’ is not a given but a delicate gift from God, Rosh haShana becomes a serious day. It becomes ‘Yom haDin’, the day of judgment. We are judged –and we must judge ourselves-if we do deserve another year of life.
Rabbi Yosef answered that the melodies of Rosh haShana should be joyful melodies.

Because although we are judged, our Judge is our own loving Father, who is ready to forgive, forget and grant us another chance!

Israel is one of the happiest countries of the world: