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Sunday, September 9

The Weekly Shtikle - Rosh HaShanah

The main component of the Rosh HaShanah davening is comprised of the sections in mussaf known as malchios, zichronos and shofaros. Each section contains 10 pesukim from Torah, Nevi'im and Kesuvim relating to their respective topics. The gemara (Rosh HaShanah 16a) explains that the purpose of malchios is to proclaim HaShem's ultimate kingship. Of the pesukim referring to kingship, 2 of them, (Ovadiah 1:21, Zechariah 14:9) refer to HaShem's recognized kingship over all humanity in the days to come. At first glance, this seems puzzling. If we are supposed to be proclaiming HaShem's dominion over us today, how do we accomplish this by speaking of HaShem's future kingship?


I believe the answer lies in the following simple thought: The fear instilled by a human king, no matter how intense, is never of an everlasting nature. One may be scared of him today, but he may be dead tomorrow. Even the most tyrannical dictatorships can be overthrown in the blink of an eye. There is always that little bit of fear missing, that notion that the king will not rule forever. Therefore, on Rosh HaShanah, when we must declare HaShem's ultimate kingship, we must also stress the eternal and everlasting nature of His Dominion. We must stress that HaShem's kingship is not only a current one but one that will last forever and will be accepted by all in the days to come. May we all merit to see these days speedily.

Have a good Yom Tov and Shanah Tovah.

Eliezer Bulka

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