By Rav Simcha Klein
The Weekly Reflection
by Rav Simcha Klein
Instead of “Yomim Noraim – Days of Awe”, the Alter from Kelm would refer to the current period of the year as “Yomim Nechmodim – Cherished Days”. This is a period where one can grow so much in emunah, tefilah, and teshuvah. Therefore we must look forward to this time as opposed to fearing and dreading it in a negative fashion.
Rav Elya Lopian z”l recounted that when he was a small child he once broke a valuable glass. His mother severely reprimanded him for his recklessness. Sometime later a chicken walked into to the house from the yard and broke a different valuable glass, yet his mother did nothing to the chicken. The young Rav Elya was perplexed why he got punished for breaking the glass and the chicken got away scot free. It then dawned upon him that his mother did not really care about the chicken; after all she is going to eat it. Rav Elya on the other hand was a human being with supreme value and more was expected of him and therefore he was reprimanded.
The very fact that we are being judged and our actions are being scrutinized by Hashem Himself is indicative that we as people mean something to Hashem and our actions do make a difference and can affect the symmetry of the cosmos (as explained at length in Nefesh
Hachaim shaar 1). The message of Rosh Hashanah is that every one of our deeds has supreme meaning. This is an extremely empowering mindset.
The seforim tell us the central theme of Rosh Hashanah is malchuyos. We are coronating Hashem. Us seemingly puny beings have the spiritual power by dint of us being the only creations in the universe who possess free will to coronate Hashem.
This should be a cause of great joy for every Yid on Rosh Hashanah.
The following is taken from the preface to the Metzudos Machzor:
“In Rav Hutner’s philosophy, Rosh Hashanah was truly Yom Tov, days of goodness, as well as days of awe. He created an atmosphere of joy and confidence during these days, rather than an air of sadness and pessimism. On Rosh Hashanah, Klal Yisroel proclaims the kingdom of G-d, and this is the day of His coronation. The Rosh Hayeshiva’s davening was an expression of joy and pride at presenting the Crown of Kingship to the supreme King of kings. How unforgettable were the words as he sang Vyitnu Licha Keser Melucha. He inspired us with the feeling that we were truly presenting the Almighty with the Crown of Kingship”.