Rabbi Yehuda said to Rabbi Shimon, Let my master say some beautiful [secret]
things about Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Shimon opened by quoting: "there
was (in Hebrew, 'vayehi') the day." (Job 1:6)
Wherever it is written: 'vayehi', it refers to a situation of distress. "Now
it was in the days of" also refers to distress. Certainly "Now there was
the day" refers to a day on which there is distress and this is [referring
to] Rosh Hashanah [the Day of Judgment], a day on which harsh
judgment is on the world.
"And it happened one day, that Elisha passed through Shunem;" (II Kings
4:8) that day was Rosh Hashanah. And wherever it is said "And it happened on
the day," the day referred to is Rosh Hashanah. "Now there was
the day when the sons of the Elokim came to present themselves before G-d"
(Job 1:6) also refers to the day of Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah always lasts for two days [even in the Land of Israel].
What is the reason for this? It is so that Isaac [who represents gevura]
shall be composed of (both) judgment and mercy. This requires two
days [for on the first day the judgment is harsh and the second day the
judgment is in mercy] and not one [day]. For just one [day
of Rosh Hashanah, which would be harsh judgment,] would destroy the world,
and this is why it is written twice [in that chapter in Job]: "Now
there was a day "[to hint to the 2 days of Rosh Hashanah].
"The sons of the Elokim came": These are certainly the supreme court, the
sons of the Elokim; the sons of the King, are surely near to them. And
they are the seventy officials [of the supernal Sanhedrin] who always
surround the King [for they emanate from the lower 7 sefirot of
malchut] and they decree judgment on the world.
"To present themselves before ('upon') G-d": Do they stand
[G-d forbid to judge] upon G-d? No, but when they stand to judge,
the first to be judged is the one who does not honor the Holy Name and does not
respect the Torah and His servants [i.e. he does not respect those who learn
Torah and obey the commandments].
So too they pass judgment on whoever is not concerned
about the honor of the Holy Name that it not be desecrated in the land.
(These include one who is self-centered and only interested in glorifying
himself as well as one who doesn’t concentrate properly when using the Holy name
to make the blessings over food and other permitted things, or who mentions the
Holy names for no reason.)
"And the adversary came also amongst them". ['Satan'] "Also"
means he also comes with his female aspect.[Lillit]. And so it is
here: "to present themselves, in addition to G-d" means that the 'Satan',
too, was concerned for the honor of this Name. [Although they are from the
Other Side, they know the truth and are concerned with G-d's honor.1]
BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this
section? What do they want us to learn?
It is oh so important to try to get yourself in the right mind place for the
Days of Awe prayers. Do what ever you can do! And breaking one's
heart, in particular the shell we put around our heart for protection, is an
important first step. WE ARE IN THE PALACE BEFORE THE KING! For
real! And we cry because we know that He is this close || and He hears our
prayers, and He knows our desire to change to be better folk. We do not
cry over the past; no, no, we cry over the present instant moment.
Open your mind's eye to imagine that indeed G-d
Himself is hearing your words. The language of the prayer is designed to
help us with this. Throw yourself into them! The tears that fall
show that our soul is being judged. And tears sweeten the judgment, the
harsh judgment on the first day, and the soft judgment on the second.
On these days of judgment, it is SOOOO important not to get angry at all. For
the way we begin a year determines its flow. And L-rd knows we don't need
any more anger in our lives!
These are the days that the angels come to report on our year. We can fix
lots by being mindful and honoring the Omniscient One's Presence. Present
yourself to the Creator in truth, and pray that only goodness and kindness will
follow all of the days of this year.
What does the above mean for your Rosh Hashanah
intentions, and why is it being revealed to you this year?
[Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries]