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   435: Rosh Hashana

436: Yom Kippur

437: Sukkos

Breishis Genesis

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Devarim Deutronomy

September 13, 1996 - 29 Elul 5756

435: Rosh Hashana

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Published and copyright © by Lubavitch Youth Organization - Brooklyn, NY
The Weekly Publication For Every Jewish Person
Dedicated to the memory of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson N.E.

 436: Yom Kippur  

Help!!!!!!!  |  Living with the Rebbe  |  A Slice of Life  |  A Call To Action
The Rebbe Writes  |  What's New  |  A Word from the Director  |  Thoughts that Count
It Once Happened  |  Moshiach Matters


A princess, an only child, was very beloved and spoiled by her father, the King. Artists and musicians came to entertain her. Designers created her exquisite clothing. The finest chefs prepared her meals. And her friends were only people of culture and class.

When she was of marriageable age, she could find no match. No prince suited her fancy, no noble was good enough for her, no socialite was charming or dashing enough.

The king became so annoyed that he decreed: "The very next suitor to walk in will be your husband!"

Moments later, a young gardener who had lost his way in the palace appeared. The horrified princess looked at the gardener. He, for his part, tried to hastily retreat, apologizing all the while.

But the king was a man of his word. The princess would wed this common gardener!

When the princess got to know her husband, she found him to be kind and gentle, albeit simple. She began to enjoy her unrestricted lifestyle: she did what she wanted, wore what she chose, ate what she pleased. It was exhilirating to be "free."

Months passed thus, and then one day, the gardener returned home to find a forlorn wife. He pondered the situation and then had an idea.

"I have guessed the cause of your despondency," he announced. "Weeks have passed since we've had tomatoes as the tomato season is over. You must miss them. I will find tomatoes, and though they may be very expensive, what importance is money unless it can be used to make you happy?"

The gardener looked at his wife and to his surprise saw large tears rolling down her cheeks.

The following evening, the gardener came home with a gift. "My dearest, yesterday I erred. I realize that in the palace, you did not work. Now you are doing jobs that must be hard for you. The broom handle, which is rough and unpolished, must surely hurt your tender hands. I have brought you a broom with a smooth handle!"

The princess burst into bitter tears, and buried her head. With a trembling voice she whispered, "What a terrible mistake. I can never be a gardener's wife. I am a princess!"

Every Jew has a soul which, until it descends into this world, resides at the foot of the Throne of Glory, delighting in G-d's presence and enjoying a close relationship with G-d. This is because the soul is truly the King's daughter. Eventually the soul must come into this world to accomplish a mission. The soul is wed to the "gardener" -- the body. She becomes enamored by her apparent freedom and by the delights and novelties which did not exist in the King's palace.

But one day, the soul feels a strange sensation. She can do what she pleases and the gardener is indeed pleasant. But, she misses the King's palace. "I did not appreciate what I had and even felt restricted. But now I understand that those were special rights and privileges."

The gardener -- the body -- sensing that his wife is unhappy, tries to find a solution. But his simple peasant intellect can conceive of nothing more than tomatoes and broomsticks. He offers his wife these crude objects in the hope that they will satisfy her. "We'll buy a leather sofa and loveseat, and a projection t.v. We'll move to a new house in a nicer neighborhood, with pickled-wood floors."

But the soul can no longer restrain herself. "Everything is really wonderful and pleasant, but this is not the problem. I yearn for the life of royalty and how can you, a simple and coarse body, comprehend me?

"You understand furniture and food, but do you know what closeness to G-d is? About Torah and mitzvot? These are things which will always be foreign to you, and therefore you cannot understand why I am sad, and what I am really lacking!" Especially at the Jewish holiday season, our souls cry out to us to be heard and understood.

"Do not try to placate me with tomatoes or even sun-dried tomatoes, with smooth broom handles or a central vacuum system. I am the King's daughter, help me renew and enhance my connection to my Father in Heaven."

Living with the Rebbe

Our holy Torah designates the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei as the date on which we celebrate Rosh Hashana, the New Year. However, this is not the anniversary of the beginning of creation, for the Talmud teaches that the first day of creation was actually five days earlier on the 25th of Elul.

Nevertheless, we celebrate the new year on the sixth day of creation which is actually the day on which Adam, the first person, was created.

The reason for this is that it wasn't until Adam was created that the Creator Himself was recognized. In fact, it was man who instilled an awareness of G-d into all of creation.

One of the primary characteristics by which man is distinguished from all other creatures is the free will with which he has been endowed by G-d. This "gift" must be properly utilized, for it allows him to rise above all of creation and achieve the very highest of spiritual levels.

G-d revealed His holy Torah to help man achieve perfection and find the right way in life. G-d's Torah is eternal, and its directives apply in every time and in every place.

On Rosh Hashana man is not only judged by G-d but must render judgment upon himself. As soon as Adam was created, he declared, "O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the L-rd our Maker."

Thus, each year on Rosh Hashana, we follow his example and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves anew.

On Rosh Hashana we resolve to live our daily lives in accordance with the Torah's laws, and to do so in the very finest manner of which we are capable.

Of course, a lot of inner strength is necessary in order to live up to our resolution. But is it really possible to experience the same sense of G-d's Kingship as our ancestor Adam?

The answer is a resounding "yes!"

G-d grants each and every one of us immense powers -- a tremendous capacity for choosing the right path. Indeed, when we uncover these inner strengths, nothing is beyond our reach, and on Rosh Hashana we can surely attain the same perception and recognition of G-d in our daily lives as did Adam, and extend that recognition to those around us.

Thus, on Rosh Hashana we declare: "And every creature shall know that You have created it...and every soul shall say, 'The L-rd G-d of Israel is King, and His sovereignty reigns over all.' "

Adapted from Likutei Sichot of the Rebbe, volume 9

A Slice of Life

Beryl Vogel
by Tzvi Jacobs

The sweet aroma of honey cake and cookies for Rosh Hashana filled the air of Tzipporah's apartment. Tzipporah Vogel and her husband, Aaron Yoseph, lived with their seven children on President Street on the border of the Jewish section of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Outside, the school bus stopped across the street from the Vogel's apartment, and 8-year-old Beryl excitedly skipped off the bus, full of anticipation for the coming holiday.

Barely a minute passed when Tzipporah heard a rapid knock on the door. Her 7-year-old son, Levi, ran in, followed by a neighbor's daughter. "Beryl was hit by a car!" the girl shrieked. Tzipporah flew out toward the street.

A van had driven around the bus, disregarding its flashing red lights, and rammed right into little Beryl, smashing into his head. There were no visible, external signs of injury, but those who witnessed the accident knew that the boy had been seriously injured.

A large crowd of neighbors stood in the middle of the street. Tzipporah darted straight through the crowd and saw her son on the ground.

"Beryleh, Beryleh, it's Mama. Beryleh, Mommy is here," Tzipporah said, as she leaned on the ground next to her son.

No response. "Beryleh, can you hear me? Beryleh," his mother kept repeating. Someone held her back from holding her son. "Don't touch him," warned a number of people. "Hatzalah (the Jewish volunteer ambulance) is on the way."

The police and ambulance arrived two minutes after Tzipporah. The medics paged the City Ambulance to bring spinal equipment to move Beryl.

Aaron Yoseph arrived moments later. As he reached the scene, Beryl was being set onto a stretcher. Before leaving with the ambulance, Tzipporah asked a neighbor to make sure someone would call the Rebbe's office. The woman answered that some one had already spoken to one of the Rebbe's secretaries.

"Beryleh, the Rebbe is praying for you. Now I know you're in good hands," Tzipporah said.

People in the Rebbe's shul were already saying Psalms for Beryl as the ambulance sped to Kings County Hospital, about fifteen blocks away. In the emergency room, Tzipporah continued to repeat her son's name in his ear.

"Okay," Beryl finally responded.

"What hurts you, Beryleh?" Tzipporah asked.

"Ich veis nit (I don't know)," he said, and then slipped back into unconsciousness.

Doctors rushed in and took over, sending Tzipporah out. The corridors of the hospital quickly filled with friends and relatives.

In the emergency room, the unconscious boy was X-rayed and checked.

Amazingly, Beryl suffered only one broken bone--a rib. However, the CAT-scan revealed a small fracture on the skull and internal bleeding and bruises on the brain. Neurologists were called down to diagnose the severity of the injury. Tubes were inserted into his lungs to keep him breathing, electrodes were taped to his chest to record his heartbeat, and a bolt was drilled into his skull to monitor the pressure on the brain. Even one small bruise on the brain could be fatal if the swelling increased, especially in a child. The doctors were also very concerned about the blood clot expanding.

Beryl was heavily sedated to ensure that he would not move around. The amount of pressure (measured in HUs) on the brain was elevated, fluctuating in the 20s. Anything above 20 HU was very serious. The parents watched the numbers, not knowing which way they would go.

The following day, Wednesday, was the eve of Rosh Hashana. Almost all the Jewish doctors were taking off for Rosh Hashana and a long weekend. Many of them said they would say special prayers in their synagogues for Beryl. There was little else the doctors could do; it was clear to all that everything was in G-d's hands.

On the eve of Rosh Hashana, when parents and children customarily call to wish each other a good, sweet year, the news was passed around -- literally all over the world -- to pray for Beryl ben Tzipporah.

On Thursday -- the first day of Rosh Hashana -- Beryl developed pneumonia. In such a weakened state, pneumonia was life-threatening, and the doctors kept trying different medications to fight it. The battle was wearing down little Beryl.

A family member reported each new development to the Rebbe. Aaron Yoseph and his wife watched the brain pressure monitor. Towards the end of the first day of Rosh Hashana -- two days after the accident -- the pressure seemed to be steadily going down. A CAT-scan on Friday revealed that the bleeding in the brain had stopped. The doctor instructed the nurses to stop giving Beryl sedatives, unscrewed the monitor mounted on Beryl's skull, and removed the machinery from his lungs and mouth. Immediately, Beryl wiggled his head and his torso. Within a minute, he slowly opened his eyes.

"Good Yom Tov, Beryleh," said Tzipporah, with tears in her eyes. "It's Rosh Hashana."

Tzipporah started softly singing the Rosh Hashana prayer "Avinu Malkeinu." "Avinu Malkeinu Chatanu Lefanecha -- Our Father, Our King, we have sinned before You..."

"Mama, on Rosh Hashana, you don't say 'Chatanu Lefanecha,' " Beryl said.

Tears of joy and relief flowed from Tzipporah's eyes: Beryl's mind was as sharp as ever. Beryl saw the tzedaka box and picture of the Rebbe that his parents had put in the room. He smiled.

"Mama, can I hear the shofar?" Beryl asked.

"Aaron Yoseph, Beryleh wants to hear the shofar!" Tzipporah cried out.

Aaron Yoseph came into Beryl's room and softly blew the shofar for his son with all his heart and soul.

On Saturday afternoon, Dr. Sherman, the resident who had conscientiously worked with Beryl from the very beginning, reported to Tzipporah, "Your son still has an elevated temperature." Then, with an uncharacteristic smile, he added, "But he's recovering very quickly."

That night, Tzipporah spoke again to Dr. Sherman about Beryl's condition. "You know your son is very, very lucky," he said. He was silent for a moment and then hesitatingly asked, "Have you been in touch with Rabbi Schneerson?"

"The Rebbe? Of course. The family has been in touch with the Rebbe from the very beginning," she said. Then, with a serious look added, "Doctor, we all pray to G-d and He hears everyone's prayers, but the Rebbe's prayers are heard and answered."

On Tuesday, only one week after the accident, Beryl dressed himself. His shoes, which were brand new before the accident, made him realize how lucky he was: the sole of his left shoe was rubbed paper thin by the accident. The hospital released Beryl and his father drove him home.

While Aaron Yoseph was helping his son out of the car, Beryl said, "It feels like I'm now finishing crossing the street."

"And I," said Tzipporah, "feel like I'm coming home from the hospital with a newborn child."

Reprinted from Truths Revealed, by Tzvi Jacobs available by sending $14.95 to: Tzvi Jacobs, P.O. Box 303, Morristown, NJ 07963.

A Call To Action

Hear the Shofar

The main mitzva of the days of Rosh Hashana is to hear the sounding of the shofar which takes place during the Rosh Hashana services at synagogues throughout the world. If you know someone who is home-bound and will not be able to make it to the synagogue to hear the shofar call your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center to see if a "private shofar service" can be arranged. (This year - 1996 - we hear the Shofar only on the second day of Rosh Hashanah - Sunday).

The Rebbe Writes

Free translation from the Hebrew

In the Days of Selichot, 5723-1963 To my Brethren, Everywhere G-d bless you all

Greeting and Blessing:

The days of Rosh Hashana, the Days of Awe, which usher in the New Year (may it be a happy and blessed one for all of us), fill every Jewish heart with a sense of holiness.

The feeling which the Days of Awe inspire goes deeper than a sense of apprehension in the face of Divine judgment. It is a feeling of Yirat HaRomemut -- a sense of awe and trepidation that is inspired by the consciousness of the unfolding event of the "coronation" of the Supreme King of kings, blessed be He; a coronation in which every individual Jew participates. For this is the essence of Rosh Hashana.

The "coronation" of the Creator of the Universe as the "King over all the Earth," for which we pray and which we actually carry out on Rosh Hashana, renews the personal union of each Jew with G-d: it is the direct and inward union of each individual as an individual, and not merely as a part of the community or people as a whole.

The "coronation" is accompanied by the personal petition of each and every one of us that the Almighty accept his coronation, whereby the mutual union of "We are Your people and You are our King" is created.

The idea and experience of this "coronation" are expressed in the prayer: O, our G-d and G-d of our fathers, establish Your glorious reign over all the world... that every creature shall know that You did create him... and every living soul shall declare: the L-rd G-d of Israel is King, and His Kingdom reigns everywhere: the whole of Creation, and especially the human being endowed with a soul, recognizes and submits to the Sovereignty of G-d.

This prayer accentuates the feeling of Yirat HaRomemut and, at the same time, the inevitable consequence thereof -- the compelling readiness and longing to obey the commandments of the King.

Hence, notwithstanding the fact that Rosh Hashana ushers in the Ten Days of Return (Aseret Yemei Teshuva) and is part of them, there is no recital of tachanun (penitential prayers), nor any confession of sin, during Rosh Hashana. For the feeling of oneness with the Almighty, which is evoked by the coronation, so permeates our heart and mind, that however great may be our sorrow over the deeds of the past, it is completely "dissolved" in the overwhelming experience of Yirat HaRomemut.

As a matter of fact, teshuva itself -- in its deeper concept as the "return (to the source)" -- is in complete harmony with the essential content of Rosh Hashana, namely, the event of the Divine Coronation.

Only after Rosh Hashana do the further aspects of teshuva come into their own, such as repentance of the past and resolution for the future, with confession of sin, supplication of forgiveness, etc., as the necessary effects of the Coronation of Rosh Hashana. For the consciousness of the renewed and strengthened union with the King, and the feeling of oneness with Him, must create in the subject the will and determination to be worthy of this exalted relationship.

This, in turn, must induce every effort to remove anything that interferes with, or hinders, the consummation of this union, namely all sins, whether committed rebelliously, knowingly, or even inadvertently.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, the inspiration engendered by the Days of Rosh Hashana and the Ten Days of Return has not always, nor everywhere, been put to the best or fullest advantage.

In some congregations, and in many individuals, the inspiration evaporated with the passing of the Days of Awe, without a discernible change or improvement in the personal day-to-day life of the individual Jewish man or woman. And where there is a lack of improvement on the individual level, there must inevitably be a lack of improvement on the social level.

One of the main reasons for this failure is that the spiritual awakening and inspiration of the Days of Awe are not directed towards the self but towards matters relating to others. Not infrequently these auspicious days serve as an occasion for general pronouncements on world problems -- "messages" that do not implicate anyone in particular, least of all anyone in the immediate environment.

This approach "satisfies" everybody, all the more so since it has some claim to "justification" in view of the fact that Rosh Hashana embraces the whole of Creation, and the world is not lacking in universal and vital problems requiring improvement or change.

The concentration on, and preoccupation with, such lofty world problems and resolutions (resolutions which, in the majority of instances, are beyond the control of those making them) provide a convenient justification for diverting the necessary, vital and utmost attention from the self: from self-searching and the reappraisal of one's personal life (precisely those areas where personal resolutions can be effective).

An indication as to the proper use of the spirit of these holy days is to be found in the details prescribed for the mitzva of sounding the shofar, the only special mitzva of Rosh Hashana. This commandment does not prescribe the use of an ensemble of instruments, but only one; and that also not a delicate instrument producing extraordinary musical compositions.

The insistence is that the shofar be a plain horn of an animal, and "all sounds are proper in a shofar." Thus, the shofar emphasizes that the orientation should be, first and foremost, on the individual self, with the accent on the duty to introduce sanctity even into the ordinary and commonplace of the daily life of the individual, and then into the social life of the individual as a member of the community, and so forth.

May G-d help that every Jewish man and woman, especially those who are spiritual leaders, should take full advantage of the sacred moments and the soul-stirring inspiration of the Days of Awe -- not in the direction of general world or national problems (which, however important, are not the purpose of Rosh Hashana and the Ten Days of Return, either for the individual or for the community, but in response to the urgent call of these days: "Make Me King over you!" -- to accept the Sovereignty of G-d, as one's own King and Master, which calls for Teshuva, Tefila, Tzedaka--Return, Service, Righteousness-- all of which should begin at home, in the self; and then around the self, in the congregation, and the environment at large.

And may the spiritual awakening and inspiration of these days illuminate and permeate every day of the year, so as to intensify the union between each Jew and G-d into a profound attachment that will express itself in the daily life according to, and in harmony with, the Divine Torah and Divine commandments. Surely, the change for the better in the spiritual life will bring a change for the better in the material life, and the next year will be a blessed one in every respect.

With prayerful wishes for a Ketiva Vechatima Tova--to be inscribed and sealed for good, for a good and sweet year, good that is evident and revealed,

-- the Rebbe's signature

What's New

You can listen to the sounds of the Shofar (for practice only) on the Chabad-Lubavitch in Cyberpsace Website -

This is RealAudio file and might take a few minutes to download.

One can not observe the Mitzvah of hearing the Shofar this way. The purpose for this RealAudio file is as a potential training tool.

A Word from the Director

The 18th of Elul, or "Chai" Elul, is a special date in the Chasidic calendar. The 18th of Elul was the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chasidic movement, and the birth, 50 years later, of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the branch of Chasidic philosophy known as Chabad.

Each year, the Rebbe speaks to the children returning from overnight camps. Five years ago, the Rebbe spoke to them on the day before Chai Elul and discussed these two great Chasidic giants.

He explained that both the Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Shneur Zalman were renowned for their efforts to teach Jewish children about Judaism. In particular, regarding the Baal Shem Tov, it is always mentioned that before he became well known, he served as a teacher's helper. In this capacity, he would remind the young children in his charge to begin their day thanking G-d that they were, indeed, alive that day. This is accomplished by reciting the "modeh ani" prayer, through which, as the very first act of the day, a Jew acknowledges G-d.

In this manner, a child not only makes a statement of thanks to G-d, he trains himself to feel genuine gratitude for all the good things which G-d has given him. And from that point on, through every moment of the day, a Jewish child increase s his appreciation and awareness of G-d's goodness. For indeed, G-d gives graciously and generously.

The Rebbe went on to explain that this is particularly true in the month of Elul, when -- as Rabbi Shneur Zalman teaches -- G-d makes Himself accessible to the Jews as a king in the field. G-d does not tire, but renews constantly all the good which He grants to every child and adult. And in particular, He grants Jewish children success in studying G-d's Torah and fulfilling His mitzvot in a beautiful and conscientious manner, inspired by the love of G-d and the fear of G-d.

Though the above thoughts were addressed to children, they apply equally to all of us. For each one of us has a "child" within.

May we merit, this year once more, to hear a talk from the Rebbe addressed to the children returning from camp; the difference being that this year it will be in Jerusalem.

Thoughts that Count

Day of Judgment

Rosh Hashana is the day of judgment for all humankind. On this day man is judged as to the events of his life during the forthcoming year.

(Talmud, Rosh Hashana 8)

It is the way of the world that if a person has a judgment pending against him, he dresses in black, wraps himself in black, lets his beard grow for the uncertainty of the outcome. Israel, however, is different. They dress in white; they eat, drink and rejoice, in the knowledge that G-d will perform miracles on their behalf.

(Jerusalem Talmud, Rosh Hashana, ch. 1)

Sounding the Shofar

The sounding of the shofar contains an allusion: Awake you sleepers from your sleep, and you slumberers, arise from your slumber--examine your deeds, repent and remember your Creator. Those of you who forgot the truth in the vanities of the time and dwell all year in emptiness, look into your souls, improve your ways and actions..."

(Maimonides, Hilchot Teshuva, ch. 3)

Rabbi Saadia Gaon gives ten reasons for sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashana, among them: At the beginning of a reign, it is customary to sound trumpets before the newly crowned king, and to proclaim his ascent to sovereignty throughout the realm. Similarly, do we accept anew the Creator's sovereignty upon ourselves each year on Rosh Hashana. Also, sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashana causes us to recall our faith in the future resurrection of the dead. As it is said: "All you inhabitants of the world, and you who dwell in the earth; when an ensign is lifted on the mountains you will see, and when the shofar is sounded you will hear."

(Isaiah 18)

It Once Happened

An awesome event occurred once in Spain after the Expulsion. Many of the Jews had accepted Christianity under duress. Having held high government offices and having attained great wealth, they found it difficult to forsake all they had toiled for, and the prospect of wandering great distances in famine and destitution struck terror into their hearts. They therefore publicly abjured their faith, but remained inwardly loyal to the G-d of their fathers -- whose precepts they secretly strove to fulfill to their utmost capacity.

There was one among them by the name of Don Fernando Aguilar, who was conductor of the royal orchestra in Barcelona. The days of Elul arrived; the days of judgment were approaching and Don Fernando's soul yearned to hear the sound of the shofar on Rosh Hashana. His yearning was shared by many of his brethren.

What did he do? He announced that on a certain day (the date of Rosh Hashana), he would present a concert featuring instrumental music of various peoples.

Many of the Marranos came to hear the sound of the shofar and they did! Many varied compositions were played by the performers, among them also the shofar sounds: tekiah, shvarim and truah, in full keeping with the prescribed order of the mitzva of shofar, under the very direction of Don Aguilar himself without any of the clergy aware of it.

It has been said: No one ever succeeded in confounding the Satan through shofar sounds as did Don Aguilar. All the emissaries of the Satan were present; the leading figures in the hierarchy and the Inquisition -- they all heard and saw, but knew nothing.

The Baal Shem Tov once instructed his disciple Reb Wolf Kitzis to study the Kabalistic meditations on which he would meditate while blowing he various blasts of the shofar. Reb Wolf studied the mystical significance of the Divine Names associated with this mitzva and made notes of them on a sheet of paper which he put away in a pocket, so he would be able to read them while blowing the shofar. The Baal Shem Tov was not pleased that he had committed these secrets to writing; the paper slipped out of his pocket and was lost.

The awesome moment drew near. Reb Wolf searched his pockets in vain, and was obliged to blow the shofar without knowing which Divine mysteries to meditate upon. This grieved him no end, and he wept with a broken and humbled heart.

After the prayers the Baal Shem Tov said to him: "In a king's palace there are many chambers, and each door has its own particular key. But there is one implement which can open all the doors, and that is the ax.

The Kabalistic meditations are the keys to the gates in the World Above, each gate requiring its own particular meditation, but a broken and humble heart can burst open all the gates and all the heavenly palaces."

It was the custom of the Shpoler Zeide to closet himself in his study for some time before the blowing of the shofar. What he did there, no one knew. Once, a chasid decided to find out. He crept up to a nook near the Rebbe's private room with out being noticed and peered through a crack.

There he saw the Shpoler Zeide lying on the floor, weeping bitterly, "Master of the Universe! What do you want of Your People Israel. If I did not see with my own eyes how many mitzvot and good deeds they perform, I would not believe it possible in this dark and bitter exile to fulfill even one mitzva! Especially in this benighted world, where Satan himself prances among them, where all things that provoke fleshly desires are before their eyes, while the warnings of retribution You have hidden in some moralistic tome. You can be certain that if You had arranged things the other way around -- with the place of retribution in front of their eyes, and all fleshly desires hidden away in some learned book -- then not a single Jew would ever do anything wrong!"

The Shpoler Zeide then rose from the floor and walked to the synagogue, where he sighed repeatedly, and proceeded with the blowing of the shofar.

One year Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev spent a long time in search of a man who would be worthy of blowing the shofar in his shul. Rosh Hashana was fast approaching and though many righteous folk sought the privilege, vying with each other in demonstrating their expertise in the abstruse Kabalistic secrets associated with the shofar, none of them were to his taste.

One day a new applicant came along, and Reb Levi Yitzchak asked him on what mysteries he meditated while he was performing the awesome mitzva.

"Rebbe," said the newcomer, "I'm only a simple fellow; I don't understand too much about the hidden things in the Torah. But I have four daughters of marriageable age, and when I blow the shofar, this is what I have in mind: 'Master of the Universe! Right now I am carrying out Your will. I'm doing Your mitzva and blowing the shofar. Now supposing You too do what I want, and help me marry off my daughters?' "

"My friend," said Reb Levi Yitzchak, "you will blow the shofar!"

Moshiach Matters

When the Jewish people hear the shofar, they are capable of bringing about the final Redemption. When they sound their shofars in fulfillment of the mitzva of Rosh Hashana, their hearts are opened, they shudder over their sins, and in a brief moment their reflections turn to repentance. They barely conclude their shofar blast and the sound of the shofar of Moshiach is already heard. The shofar sounds blend -- his and theirs -- and behold, Redemption comes.

(From Book of Our Heritage by Rabbi E. Kitov)

 436: Yom Kippur  
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