Should Chassidim cry in their Rosh Hashanah prayers?
In some congregations I see that a lot of people cry during their prayer of the high holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I would like to know what the Chabad perspective is on the matter, as I have not really seen this done in the Minyanim that I’ve been to? Is it because Rosh Hashanah is a joyous day that we avoid crying?
On the contrary, one should cry on Rosh Hashanah even if it coincides with Shabbos. The Arizal would cry profusely during the prayers of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and so was the custom of the Chabad Rabbeim , and the city of Lubvatich. These tears can be cries of joy, which results from one feeling an extreme Dveikus to Hashem which automatically brings one to tears. Alternatively, it can be cries of repentance for one sins of the previous year.
Explanation: The Arizal said that if one is not drawn to cry during these days [of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur] it is a sign that his soul is incomplete, G-d forbid. The reason for this is because on Rosh Hashanah one is to naturally feel the attachment of his soul to its root in G-d, and this feeling is so intense that the body sheds tears out of inability to contain it. Hence one who does not cry shows that his soul is no longer sensitive to its attachment to G-d. Hence the cry which is required is one of passionate longing for G-d. One who is not brought to tears on Rosh Hashanah shows that he has a hard heart. This cry that is required is one of passionate longing for G-d. One is however not to cry on Rosh Hashanah due to a loss in physical or even spiritual matters. This however only applies to Tzaddikim Gemurim, however those who still contain evil in their hearts, certainly are to cry over the evil that is in them which prevents them from attaching to G-d. If one is strong hearted and is unable to bring himself to tear than he is at the very least to make a crying sound, and Hashem will hear the attempted cry of his heart.
Sources: See regarding the crying of Arizal: Shaar Hakavanos 90a “My teacher the Arizal cries profusely during the prayers of R”H even though it is a Yom Tov and certainly during the prayers of Yom Kippur”; Peri Eitz Chaim 25:5; brought in Beir Heiytiv 584:3; Mateh Efraim 582:28; Kaf Hachaim 582:60; See regarding the Chabad Rabbeim and the city of Lubvatich: Toras Menachem 1951 Vol. 2 p. 4; Sefer Hasichos 1947 1st night R”H “The Alter Rebbe once said that the Avoda on the night of R”H must be accompanied with joy. The Tzemach Tzedek and Reb Nachum then asked the Alter Rebbe “Why is it then that you cry” He replied that it is a cry of joy”; Sefer Hasichos 1941 p. 27 “The Rebbe Rashab’s holy face was soaked with tears”; Hatamim 2 p. 131-132 “The Rebbe Rashab Davens and cries. There isn’t one word he recites that isn’t immersed in a river of tears; Sefer Hasichos 1944 p. 5 “Even the citizens of the town of Lubavitch, men, women and children on the two days of Rosh Hashanah were filled with cries of repentance.” See regarding that if one doesn’t cry it is a sign that his soul is incomplete: Shaar Hakavanos 90a; Peri Eitz Chaim 25:5; brought in Beir Heiytiv 584:3; Mateh Efraim 582:28; Kaf Hachaim 582:60; See Birkeiy Yosef Y.D. 394- that one may refrain from crying oin order so the tears do not damage his eyes, as the main thing is a broken heart; Alef Hamagen 582:47; Piskeiy Teshuvos 584:2; See regarding cries of joy: Likkutei Torah Ki Seitzei “Vehisira Es Simlas Shivya” [p.72]; “Ubachsa Es Aviha” [p.74] [“This cry is not due to Marah Shechorah” “Is similar to the cry of Rebbe Akiva when he said Shir Hashirim” “Is level of Teshuvah Ilaah”]; See Sefer Hasichos 1947 1st night R”H brought earlier “The Tzemach Tzedek and Reb Nachum asked the Alter Rebbe why he cries and he replied that it is a cry of joy; Shaar Yissachar Tishrei “The cry must be a result of Dveikus in prayer”; The Gr”a in Maaseh Rav 207 rules that one is not to cry on Rosh Hashanah, and it is brought in the name of Rav Chaim Volozhin that the intent of this statement is that one is not to cry due to physical matters or matters of negativity but rather it is to be cries of joy, as requires the Arizal. Thus those Chazanim that bring the congregation to cry over the words “On Rosh Hashanah we are written..” are doing an improper act. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 584:2 footnote 15; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 268 explains this to be the opinion of Gr”a]; See regarding crying due to repentance from sin: Likkutei Sichos 19 Parshas Haazinu
Singing Avinu Malkeinu when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos?
I have heard that we do nothing the tune of Avinu Malkeinu on Shabbos including even when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbos. Is this accurate?
While there is no Halachic prohibition against doing so, the Rebbe was accustomed not to sing get on Shabbos even when Rosh Hashanah fell on Shabbos, and he likewise motioned for the Chassidim not to sing it.
Explanation: The Chabad custom is to sing the Niggun of Avinu Malkeinu prior to the start of Maariv, as well as prior to all the other prayers on Rosh Hashanah. This custom was initiated by the Rebbe. Now, Ashkenazi communities do not recite the prayer of Avinu Malkeinu on Shabbos. This is due to one of two reasons: 1) As it is forbidden to request one’s needs on Shabbos. 2) The entire reason that we recite Avinu Malkeinu is in correspondence to the middle blessings of Shemoneh Esrei that are omitted on Rosh Hashanah during the week. Seemingly, the same way we do not wish to say the prayer and Shabbos so too we should not sing the prayer on Shabbos, in which the same words are being mentioned.
Sources: See regarding the Rebbe not singing it on Shabbos: Orchos Menachem p. 68-69; See regarding the general custom to sing the tune of Avinu Malkeinu prior to the start of the prayers on Rosh Hashanah: Hisvadyos 1984 1 p. 26-27 “The reason for the custom to sing the Niggun of Ainu Malkeinu of the Alter Rebbe prior to each prayer on Rosh Hashanah is in order to mention the merit of our forefathers, the merit of the Alter Rebbe”; Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 58; Regarding Maariv: The Rebbe ibid stated in 1984 “Now that we are coming closer to the redemption, in which the Avoda of action is emphasized, there is no place for singing Avinu Malkeinu prior to this prayer being that Avinu Malkeinu is not recited during this prayer. For this reason Avinu Malkeinu was not sung before Maariv.” Nevertheless, there was not one year similar to the next after this Sicha, in some years it was sung before Maariv and in others it was not. In 1992 it was only sung before Maariv on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. [Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 58] See regarding omitting Avinu Malkeinu on Shabbos: Admur 584:5; 602:2; Rama 584:1; 602:1; Rivash 512; Kneses Hagedola 584:2; Peri Chadash; Kisei Eliyahu 584:3; Other opinions: Many Poskim rule that Avinu Malkeinu is to be recited even on Shabbos. [Rashbatz 3:186 brought in Beis Yosef; Hatanya; Mateh Yehuda 584; implication of Arizal in Shaar Hakavanos; see Kaf Hachaim 584:8] Based on the Arizal ibid it appears that one is to recite all the stanzas of Avinu Malkeinu, with exception to the one’s that mention sin, even on Shabbos Shuva, and so is the custom of the Beis Keil community in Jerusalem. [Kaf Hachaim 582:16] The Kaf Hachaim 584:8 concludes: It seems that the Ashkenazi custom is to omit it while the Sephardic custom is to say it and for this reason the Michaber omitted this ruling from his Shulchan Aruch. Each community is to follow their custom.