Sep 3, 2012

No Inevitability

The Gemara says that we read the curses in Parshas Ki Savo before Rosh Hashana so that, “tichleh shana v’kililoseha” (may the year and its curses end).  Rabbi Breitowitz points out an astonishing concept:

It seems to us that the reason things are a certain way today, is because that is how they were yesterday and the day before and things don’t tend to change.  We are in a routine and our life is set up a certain way. We need to know that even if that is true as a rule, there is no connection between the last day in Elul and the first day of Tishrei. Whatever the decree is for the last day of Elul was decreed last Rosh Hashana, and whatever happens in Tishrei is rooted in the new year’s decrees! However, if things remain the same maybe it’s because we didn’t change.

The idea of there being a fundamental disconnection between the old year and new year can be reassuring or frightening, depending on how last year went. If it was a bad year, you can come to Rosh Hashana with thoughts of a fresh start, that if things were bad last year that doesn’t mean it will be that way this year. It gives us hope. But if things went well last year, on Rosh Hashana you can think – this may not continue!

To take Rosh Hashana seriously means that you realize a change and new decrees are taking place based on new considerations and this point is driven home by Chazal with “tichleh shana …” There is no inevitability of the curses of the previous year.  May we be inspired to make it a good new year.

No comments:

Post a Comment