2. The Avoda of Rosh Hashanah

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

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2. The Avoda of Rosh Hashanah

A. What to pray for:

The meaning of Rosh Hashanah is not only about receiving a good year in physical blessing. The purpose of Rosh Hashanah is to rebuild our relationship with Hashem. Each person is judged on Rosh Hashanah whether he is fit to be Hashem’s servant and whether Hashem will be his King or dictator. One should pray with profound bitterness, having recognition that one is approaching the King with “torn garments”, and thus begging G-d to have mercy and accept him as his servant.[1] The Zohar states that those that pray on [Rosh Hashanah and] Yom Kippur merely for physical matters are similar to a dog that screams “give give” for their food. This is the attribute of the Eirev Rav and the gentiles that they are only able to serve G-d for reward and selfish motivations. Rather a Jew is to arouse himself in Teshuvah out of love for the Shechina and desire for it to leave the exile.[2]

B. The preciousness of time:[3]

On Rosh Hashanah one must value his time and be involved in the saying of words of Teshuvah and Torah. Rosh Hashanah is a general day [that affects the entire year].

C. Tehillim:

See Chapter 5 in Introduction!

D. Diminish in sleep in order to say Tehillim:[4]

One is to diminish his sleep as much as possible during both nights of Rosh Hashanah, hence sleeping less than usual. One is to rather use his time in prayer and recital of Tehillim.

E. Mundane speech:

During the two days of Rosh Hashanah, one is to completely abstain from any mundane conversation to the utmost.[5] He is to act as a slave who does not have even one moment free to rest from his master’s work, and like a son that is toiling in effort to greet his father.[6]

F. Crying on Rosh Hashanah

See Chapter 5 in Introduction!


[1] Sefer Hamamarim Kuntreisim 2 p. 323; See also Sefer Hamamarim 1943 p. 42

[2] Reishis Chochma Shaar Hateshuvah chapter 1

[3] Sefer Hasichos 1936 p. 144

[4] Igros Kodesh Rebbe Rayatz 10:425; Sefer Hamamarim 1937 p. 310; Sefer Haminhagim p. 117 from a letter of the Rebbe Rayatz in Michtav Tehillim; See Sefer Hasichos 1942 p. 5 regarding not even singing during the meal in order to increase in Tehillim.

[5] Sefer Haminhagim p. 117 [English]; Igros Kodesh ibid

[6] Igros Kodesh ibid

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