Here’s a summary of some key insights I’ve picked up from all the shiurim I’ve been listening to, largely Rabbi Doniel Katz. I hope it inspires you and may you have a meaningful Rosh Hashanah.
1. Our job is to ask Hashem to keep the world going: to refill the kitty for another year. Hashem asks each of us ‘should i make the world again?’
2. Ask yourself ‘what is the world for?‘, ‘What’s the priority in my life?’. Our commitment to Hashem’s goal for the world makes it worthwhile to keep the world going. “Only when you know why and what you were created for can you ask Hashem rebuild the world for one more time”.
3. Rosh Hashanah is about malchus, kingship, crowning Hashem king over ourselves. Malchus is the one thing we can give Him. We make Him a king by our choice. Choosing to make Him king allows us to bestow Him on us, and therefore receive ultimate good. Receive ultimate good by being like Him through our self-creation.
4. Just like Hashem blew the soul into Adam, Hashem wants you to look at your soul and blow it out to the world. Reveal into the physical world the breath (your godliness) Hashem breathed into you.
5. A mitzvah shouldn’t be something externally enforced but internally remembered.
6. You can choose to reveal the light in your own darkness. Choose the godliness within you. Embrace & become your own godliness. Create yourself for good. Reveal your own light. Ask for another year of recreation of yourself.
7. If you can commit to Hashem’s reason for creating the world, then Hashem gives you the tools & opportunity to achieve this ultimate goal. You’re justifying His investment, His initial goal. He wants to know that you know what you’re really doing here. Do u know?
8. In our generation, unless you feel the love you can’t accept the kingship. Rosh Hashanah is a day of love. About devoting ourselves. Think about all the blessing that happened to you in the last year. When you’re heart is full of that you can dedicate yourself to Him who has given you that. We’re supposed to work on Rosh Hashanah to find that love for Hashem. Feel the cup of blessing overflowing in the previous year to be able to commit to Him.
9. Hashem knows what is best for you way better than you do. Just let him give to you. Get your ego out of the way.
10. Rosh Hashanah is a judgement where Hashem sees your vessel, how much you want to hold, and he gives to your capacity. Get out of his way and let him give to you. “Show me the vessel you have, and let me fill it”.
11. It’s about us in Elul asking the questions, questioning our essence, and in Tishrei Hashem gives to us his electricity, his shefar.
12. Judgement doesnt officially start until the first morning.
13. You can turn around on the day even if you had a bad year. There is consequence in our actions, and on Rosh Hashanah we face that reality.
14. Tefillah (prayer) is about making yourself a vessel, to open your heart. Hashem connects with you how he sees fit. Sometimes you feel love and sometimes you don’t. Hashem is talking to you.
15. There’s a duality in Rosh Hashanah. We eat and dress up. There’s a celebration in the fear. The true correct response to being judged is joy. The fact it doesn’t bring us that means we’re terrified of being judged, to be corrected in how we act, think, etc. Hashem knows the real me, so we’re scared he will destroy us because we’re so bad inside. But we’re really not.
16. If you don’t like judgement in one place, you won’t like it elsewhere. We resent being judged by god, by friends, by family. We’re scared of judgement. But true judgement is a joyful, empowering thing.
17. Malchus: turn the ground into heaven. That’s the battle because the earth doesn’t want heaven. Its about bringing the godliness down to earth, the emergence of spirituality in the physical realm. When we express the spiritual in the physical realm, that is true kingship. Our job is to reveal our soul, our potential.
18. We pray for life. We’re not praying to live another year. We’re praying for a spiritual life. Chaim (life) is when you are connected to your spiritual source. Death is being disconnected from your source. You can be physically alive but dead, disconnected.
19. A confession is ‘usually I get it right, this time I got it wrong, I’m sorry’. Has to start with I’m a good person and I normally get it right. I am for holiness. That is why Rosh Hashanah comes before Yom Kippur. You have to appreciate your nobility and holiness to be able to see when you go wrong. It’s a comparison. Viduy on Yom Kippur has to come from a place of knowing how holy you are.
20. On Rosh Hashanah focus on the positive. Talk about what was good even if you only did 3% good.
21. We make ourselves victims of our past. ‘We have had such a bad past, so what do you expect of me’ is our approach. ‘When all the circumstances change, I’ll become free’. The message is go free TODAY. Why? Because you know you are capable to be more, you are better!