Rosh Hashanah: A Time of “Yachad” by Kfir Subin


Rosh Hashanah is more than just a holiday of blowing the Shofar and dipping apples in honey.  It is more than just saying Selichot.  The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 1:2 says, “Birosh Hashanah, Kol Baei Haolam Ovrin Lifanav Kivnei Maron,” “On Rosh Hashanah, all the inhabitants of the world pass before Him [Hashem] like flocks of sheep.”  The Mishnah then quotes the Pasuk in Tehillim, “Hayotzer Yachad Libam Hamevin El Kol Maaseihem,” “He that fashioned the hearts of them all, who understands all their doings.”  What is the Mishnah teaching us?  The Gemara explains that on Rosh Hashanah, we are judged and counted like sheep coming through a narrow opening, one by one, and that Hashem sees the hearts of all the people in the world and judges them accordingly.  Another interpretation is that even though people are judged and counted one by one, they are still “reviewed together” – “Yachad,” which shows that Am Yisrael is like one combined nation.  The Maharsha agrees that the Mishnah does not mean that Bnei Yisrael are counted one by one; each person is counted and judged, as the Mishnah specifically says, “like flocks of sheep,” which shows that we are judged like a flock and not one by one.  We can see also in other parts of the Torah how being judged and how doing other things “Biyachad” can be advantageous.  For example, in the story of Migdal Bavel, Hashem did not kill the people who rebelled, rather, just punished them, since they kept the Mitzvah of Bein Adam Lachavero and were kind to one another.  We also see the opposite with the incident of the Mabul in which the whole generation was wiped out because they did evil things to their fellow man and they could not keep the Mitzvah of Bein Adam Lachavero, therefore, they were killed.  This just shows how staying together and being one big nation together can help our judgment.  This comes to teach that respecting one another and being like a “flock of sheep” and continuing to keep the Mitzvah of Bein Adam Lachavero and being a nation which is “Yachad” can really help us during the judgment of Rosh Hashanah.  Have a sweet new year.

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