Come and see: On the day of Rosh Hashanah, the world is judged and the Holy Court sit in session to judge over the whole world. The Other Side stands at its side [to receive those judged to be punished or die] All those who are condemned to death are noted by him and registered by him. At the time when Israel arouses mercy with the sounding of the shofar, all his notes get muddled up, until he can’t discern and can’t note who is to receive the punishment. It takes until after [the end of the festivals] for those who have not repented and have been condemned to death to receive their notice. The judgment notices will certainly be issued by the King’s Court and given to him ('Satan', again on the night of Shemini Atzeret) to execute. Once they are delivered, they are not revoked until judgment is executed.

All Israel
[communities as a whole] should beware of the accuser, and even more so a person [praying] alone [on Rosh Hashanah (who doesn’t have the merit of the community to argue in his favor – and may not have the shofar blasts sounded to confuse the accuser)].

There is a hidden supernal secret to prevent the accusing angel from making his charges. The secret is to give him a portion of the goat sin offering sacrificed at the time of the new moon to prevent him making his accusations and confusing the happiness with the celebration of the new moon. He takes his portion and leaves. This allows the Holy new moon to draw in the new level of holiness and to renew
(her strength as she waxes full) as is fitting for her.

Since the moon waxes and grows after each new moon, she is called 'a youth', as we already explained. And that one [which is the Other side and which is the 'Satan'] is always immersed in defilement, never leaving that lowly state, is called " an old and foolish king" (Eccl. 4:13) [and thus one is required to honor it and to give it a portion in holiness]. For that reason, holy Israel is one nation in holy unison, to whom G‑d gives advice on how to be saved from all [i.e. from the denouncement of the Other Side]. Happy are they in this world and in the World to Come, as it is written, "Your people [Israel who will have a portion in the World to Come] also shall be all righteous, [for the wickedness will be destroyed in the footsteps of the Mashiach's coming] they shall inherit the land forever; they [Israel] shall be the branch of My planting, [this advice is] the work of My hands, that I may be glorified." (Isaiah 60:21)

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

We read above: "When Israel awakens mercy by the sound of the shofar, it [the Other Side/'Satan'/Evil Inclination/Angel of Death/etc.] loses count, and does not know nor notice the condemned, until after those who do not repent are condemned to death." So we are really pulling a fast one on the Great Trickster? We [the sheep] are pulling the wool over his Wolf-like eyes? And he, who knows all of our negative thoughts, doesn't know this? And he gets fooled every year? What's going on here?

We perhaps bribe it with a promise to give it our rapt attention for the remaining days of Teshuva, instead of taking on our Yetzer face to face on Rosh Hashanah. So on Rosh Hashanah, we can then deal with the King face to face, and put aside our problems, desires, fantasies, foreign thoughts, etc.

A way to do this is to try one's best to really listen to the shofar. Maybe close your eyes to block out distractions. Don't hang with your buddies, hold your partner's hand, think about lunch, etc. when it is being blown. Spend some time planning well in advance how you will access this special essential mitzvah, that of hearing the shofar. Let the ancient sound which pulls at the heart strings of our Jewish collective unconsciousness open you up to a newer place than you were when you entered synagogue earlier that morning. If this sound is powerful to confuse the Master Confuser, it certainly can also impact little ole' you, even a little bit more than you could imagine.

What does this mean for your Rosh Hashanah, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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