Why do we read the tochechos before Rosh haShana? So the year and its curses should end
Why must the year have curses?And this year ,in paticular, a year ending with so much confusion?We thought we had a fantastic friend in the White House, but is Israel friend with themselves?The last (it seems) Likud PM, pushed through an enshrinement of the original 'zionist ' dream of a J'ewish State'. What will be of that dream,when the jewish academics vote with the arab bloc?
And we , living in the golah, are we free of confusion?Growing anti semitism, our holy ways of chinuch being challenged in England and in NY State ,bastions of torah .And where do we stand with regards the Holy Land ?Is it our land, or just a place to visit(and support)?(As my readers know, I have been 'begging', almost for years for friends to participate wih the program of https://www.buyapieceofisrael.com/ with very little success). Do we truly look forward to 'Redemption"Does that word , 'Redemption', have any meaning to us? We are 'free', we are 'frum' and successful.What more could we want?
This coming year,5780, we are looking foward to the incredible bar mitzva celebration , the 13th cycle of daf Yomi ?Why , what redemption?Our world of Torah and Yiddiskeit is fantastic.
Is it so? The attack on Jewish chinuch in NY State has been pushed by disenchanted ,originally 'frum', Jews.We have heard terrible stories of Jewish youth taking their own lives, r'l, even a special mossad opening to deal with such unhappy souls..Something is lacking in our personal connection with the Creator.Is our 'success' our undoing?
If we end this year in confusion ,perhaps we should be investing energy in introspection, ourselves as indviduals ;ourselves as a People.And isn't that what the month of Ellul, and especailly the time before Rosh haShana all about?. And when we read of in these parshios, of "arvus", our neshamos are mixed and responsible one for the other, is it not time to wonder if we are dedicated to be a Holy Nation ,a 'light unto the Nations', in our holy land, no longer in golus, living a higher and more elevated life?
Before reading the Tochecha, we read two parshios,the bringing of Bikkurim, and 'vidui' (admission) of maaser.When you come to the Land , haShem has given, bring up to the beis hamikdash a basket of 'bikkurim' the first and best of the fruit of the land, place it before the Cohen of that time and say "I've come to the land promised to our forefathers (Rashi - 'that you do not deny the good' ), and then begins the famous parsha we read and elucidate on the seder night.Lavan arami seeked to eradicate all -our faith, and the Egyptians afflicted us heavily - our bodies, and with all the affliction we grew mightily, we cried out to Heaven and were answered.. .Leave the Bikkurim before haShem and be happy with all the good which haShem has given...
The next parsha follows .... 'vidui maaser', admitting that we have given our maaser responsibilities properly. We usually connect the word 'vidui' to admitting one's sins (as it is used in selichos and Yom Kippur).but here we see that the root is to admit that all is from Him, and with that , we pray He should look down and bless 'your nation and the land. Our name - jew, Yehuda, comes from that characteristic.
We find in the middle of the tochcha 'tachas asher lo avadata es haShem Elokeche b'simcha uvtuv levov merov kol' , instead of serving haShem with joy and a good heart from much good.All the curses come from the lack of joy in our service of haShem when we had it good.Our destiny is to realize that all is from Him;to internalize the joy of faith that we cannot rely on anyone , and as a people, not on the US.
Trumps' plan ? Who is coming to the table?
Have we forgotten that Yishmael did teshuva at the end? Are we truly a spiritual nation?
Apparently, according to a talmid , Rabbi Kaduri ztz'l predicted Moshiach to come when twice the government won't be able to form a govrnmentorty years ago. Rabbi Eliyahu Merav was a young man and looked to Rabbi Kaduri as his spiritual guide.
“It is very important to understand such things in context,” Rabbi Merav said. “Rabbi Kaduri spoke very little so it was very important to understand precisely what he intended. One day, he was taking questions and someone asked when the Moshiach (Messiah) would arrive and whether there were signs the would precede his arrival. The rabbi answered, ‘When there will be elections but there will not be a government’.”
Rabbi Merav noted that at the time, this statement was very confusing.
“It seemed contradictory,” Rabbi Merav said. “How could there be elections but no government? If there are elections, there will be a government. That is simply the way things work. No one understood him at the time but this is really how it is with prophecy; you don’t understand it until it happens.”
And there are more 'signs' from the mekubalim............
The Chazal say , there is no simcha like 'hateras hasafek', solving our questions, so theoretically , we should be in joy.However these predictions are accompanied by predictions of war too.
The Gaon from Vilna is quoted as saying "The fault is in years , the tikun in generations" (the loose translation is mine), that is why Avraham was told that we would be in Egypt for 400 years , but we would leave after 4 generations.
May the curses of the past leave, and may we emerge this coming year newly sanctified with our national misson to be"a light unto the Nations".