Fortunate is the portion of the righteous who know how to direct their will before their Master, and who know how to rectify the world on that day [of Rosh Hashanah] by the sound of the shofar. It is therefore written, "Fortunate are the people that know the Terua [note] " (Ps. 89:16) [that they know intentions in the blowing, therefore] it is written, "that know" not ' that blow' [for knowledge of the secrets and intentions is primary].

On that day [of Rosh Hashanah], people should look for [and choose as their emissary to lead their prayers] a man who is most complete of all [the congregation in all his actions], who knows the ways [of the sefirot] of the Holy King [i.e. how one sweetens the other] and knows the glory of the King [i.e. the wisdom of Kabbalah and the formation of the universe], that he will appeal on their behalf for mercy during the prayers on that day [of Rosh Hashanah] and know how to invite the sound of the shofar to elevate it into every world with devotion of the heart [i.e. other thoughts do not disturb him], wisdom [that he know the proper intentions], desire [that his devotions be with desire of his heart] and completeness [that both his devotions and desire be complete. And all this preparation] that judgment be removed from the world [that he will be able to sweeten and nullify the judgments awakened on Rosh Hashanah].

Woe to those whose emissary is found unworthy, for their sins will be remembered on account of him. Hence, "if the priest that is anointed does sin," that he is the emissary of all of Israel [and if he sins]it brings guilt to the people" (Lev. 4:3) because judgment rests on the people on his account.

When the congregation's emissary [to lead their prayers] is worthy as need be, fortunate are the people, for all judgments are removed from them through him. All the more so for the [High] Priest [that he must certainly be completely righteous, for] by means of his [service] the upper and lower beings are blessed. Rabbi Elazar said, therefore before a priest and a Levite begin their service, they are examined that their ways and actions are known. If [he has] not [yet been examined], he may not rise to serve. Also to judge in the Sanhedrin [he must be examined first].

If he is found properly worthy, then the restrictive measures of the Temple are put upon him, but if not, he does not rise to serve. Hence, it says, "And of Levi he [Moses]said, let your Tumim and your Urim be with your pious one". (Deut. 33:8)

Wherefore is he [the High Priest] worthy of the Urim and Tumim and of serving [in the Holy Temple]? We conclude this [necessity of examination of our emissaries] from: "Whom you did prove at Masa". "Who said of his father and of his mother, I have not seen him...[for they observed Your word and kept Your covenant]" (Ibid. 33:9) [They were tested and examined in their Torah observance and proved to be worthy.]

Since they were found to be on these levels, then [it was written] "they shall teach Jacob['s descendants]Your judgments...they shall put incense [on the inner altar on Yom Kippur]" (Ibid. 33:10) in order that judgment's anger be soothed and peace accessible [in the world] "and [that they offer]whole [burnt sacrifices]upon Your altar" so that all [judgments] be sweetened and blessings will prevail in all the worlds. Then, "G‑d will bless His army ..[and favor the work of His hands]". (Ibid. 33:11)

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Here the reasons why the "Shaliach Tzibbur/congregation's emissary" must be wise, mindful, and heart-conscious are revealed. For their actions are taken on behalf of all of us. If they fail to do the job, we pay the price..."They do the crime, but we do the time."

What is the most important characteristic? A broken heart. The Baal Shem Tov [whose yartzeit is on 18 Elul] gave over the precious secrets of blowing shofar to the appointed emissary, who took careful notes, and the Besht questioned this practice of his. When the man was called to blow shofar, his notes magically disappeared from his pockets. He was forced to blow the shofar simply, with a broken humbled heart and tears aflow.

The Besht noted that this service was higher than any he could have done with his notes. All the doors of Heaven are shut save for the gate of tears. And while the secret meditations are keys to the other gates, the pouring of sincere tears through a broken heart works as a battle ram known to down all gates to the King's palace.

What does the above mean for your Teshuvah, and why is it being revealed to you now?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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