"All the following blessings will pursue you and overtake you…." (Deut. 28:2)

On Rosh Hashanah our livelihood and health are decreed for the coming year. And yet, we pray every day for health, sustenance, and many other divine blessings. Is not this daily prayer superfluous, in that all has already been decreed on Rosh Hashanah?

The apparent redundancy of the second half of this verse provides the answer to this question. On Rosh Hashanah, all the different blessings necessary for their respective purposes descend to a certain level of reality where they wait in store to be drawn further into the physical world. In order to bring them down into the physical world, further prayer and devotion to G‑d is necessary; this is the purpose of our daily prayers.

This is why the Torah speaks first of blessings "pursuing us" and then "overtaking us."

Adapted from Ohr HaTorah, Devarim, p. 1089
© 2001 Chabad of California/www.LAchumash.org