Dvar Torah for Rosh HaShanah 5771
Based on Likutey Halakhot, P’ru u’R’vu 3:10
I want to propose an answer. What’s the question? The question is, Why don’t we say Hallel on Rosh HaShanah? Yes, it is Yom HaDin, Judgement Day, and to thank Hashem on that day for miracles He has performed in the past is incongruous. Understood. But! Rosh HaShanah is festive enough that we dress in our holiday finery or in white; we don’t fast (forbidden according to many), but eat sumptuous meals and drink sweet beverages; and we fully expect a miracle, that our verdict will be favorable (Yerushalmi, Rosh HaShanah, Chapter 1).
Nu, so what’s my answer? The shofar. Reb Noson writes that the sounds of the shofar, listening and hearing them, contain the Ten Types of Song. Every single word of prayer, blessing, thanksgiving and praise that you will say this coming year, are contained within the shofar’s ten sounds*. But what does that mean, that hearing the shofar contains every sort of song one might sing to God?
Reb Noson explains that if you want teshuvah, return to God, you must be prepared to let go of bemoaning your Jewish failures and human shortcomings. You must instead trumpet (to yourself!) your successes and virtues. Even the smallest of these, as brief as it was, begins to constitute a reciprocal song, a parallel sounding of your inner-shofar. And as Rebbe Nachman teaches in one of his most primary lessons—Azamra!—one good point leads to another, and one begins to sing.
This is the Hallel that we begin to generate on Rosh HaShanah. The bringing to the fore of the good points that are you, creates more and more of them. When you recognize that you have good within waiting to come out and that you are good, you will be energetic and enterprising about getting that good done.
And doing good will give you a lot to sing about in the coming year. So it turns out that you are the Hallel of Rosh HaShanah.
A sweet, happy and healthy new year to you and yours. May you all be immediately inscribed and sealed in the Book of the Tzaddikim. Amen.
agut g’bensht yor!
shanah tovah u’metukah!
© Copyright 2010 Breslov Research Institute
*The ten sounds are: Tekiah-Shevarim-Teruah-Tekiah, Tekiah-Shevarim-Tekiah, Tekiah-Teruah-Tekiah.