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Shabbat Rosh Hashana 5765
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Malchuyot, Zichronot, ve Shofarot - From Derashot Layamim Hanoraim, pg. 32
We were given three sets of tekiot: malchuyot, zichronot, v’shofarot (references to Hashem’s kingship, his remembrance of mankind, and the use of the shofar in this relationship). Bnei Yisrael has undergone these three elements as a nation.
We started with kingship, “Hashem became king over Yeshurun (Yisrael)” (Devarim 33:5). Hashem ruled over us and, as a result, we were able to capture the Land and establish our own kingdom in the Land of Israel. The purpose of the kingdom was to declare the Kingdom of Hashem, the G-d of Israel, throughout the world.
We were supposed to use zichronot and shofarot in the process. We should have remembered the origins of our nation, which are rooted in the efforts of our forefathers. The endless love and dedication to the Divine Will, engendered in the akeidat Yitzchak (the binding of Yitzchak), should have served as a reminder of the high level expected of us. The shofar should have reminded us that we require shipur (improvement) in different areas.
However, we did not merit all of this. The kingdoms in Israel did not connect with the proper memories or recognize the need for improvement. As a result, the Kingdom of Judea fell and its inhabitants were exiled. The binding of our forefather did not remain just as a historical memory but became, in different, palpable ways, the painful lot of our people in many of its locations. Which foreign land can one point to, in which we were not brought as a sacrifice on an altar, with our blood spilled upon it? The Jewish people had to declare Hashem’s dominion at the stake and with combs of metal ripping at their flesh. The shofar was needed to remind us that eventually a future time would come when the savior would be announced with the blow of the shofar.
Now we are at the dawn of a new period. We can feel the ancient words of consolation of the prophet, which break through the mourning during the seven shabbatot of consolation. “Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim and call to her, for her period of exile is completed, and her sinfulness has been forgiven, for she has received from Hashem double for all her sins” (Yeshaya 40:2). Endless pain, wandering, inquisitions, pogroms, and gas chambers have purified us. The echo of the shofar of Mashiach can be heard. The call of the day is once again that of the shofar: improve your ways, do not give up or weaken your resolve. Holy Jews are pure in their essence. Only by the doings of the Satan are we unable to be what we can and should be. Let us improve and become pure, as we have already undergone a purification process.
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Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of R’ Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld o.b.m. and Eliezer Ben Avraham Mordechai Jacobson