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Rosh Hashanah Prayers: How God Sees Us

1. There is a difference between ‘sacrificing” what I want in order to please someone else and loving someone so much that I desire whatever he or she wants. The former is the usual ingredient of compromise in a relationship: Compromise implying that each party that compromises gives up part of what he or she wants. Neither is happy. This approach describes parents who sacrifice what they want for the sake of their children. I have never sacrificed for my children: I chose them and their needs over me and mine.

2. The Mitzvah/Concept of love demands that we love God so much that we desire whatever He wants. It is not a relationship of giving up my desires or sacrificing my needs: Attachment to God is what I want more than anything else. I want whatever He wants.

3. The Ohaiv Yisrael (Re’ei) based on Tanchuma Re’ei #3, Devarim Rabbah 4:3, Lamentations 3:38: “It is not from the mouth of the Most High that evil and good emanate.” Only good emanates from God. God is “Kulo Tov” – completely and perfectly good. God desires to send only blessing.

4. We love God so much; especially during this month of intense love – Elul – that we only desire what He wants. We approach Rosh Hashana with only the desire for what God wants to give us.

5. We do not come as supplicants trying to convince God to grant our wishes. We enter Rosh Hashana with the pure desire simply to receive all the perfect good that God desires to give.

6. Most of us hesitate at this point. Will we be able to live up to such infinite blessings? We feel undeserving. We feel inadequate.

7. Elul is the time when we are able to overcome our hesitance in order to receive all that God desires to give us.

8. We compared this to Naval and Abigail in Samuel I Chapter 25: Abigail senses the infinite potential of the moment. She even alludes to the infinite connection between the future king and her. Naval, has his own agenda and refuses to acknowledge how he has benefited from David. He focuses on all the negative things he can find in David even after Saul has publicly acknowledged that David will be king! (See end of chapter 24)

9. The first hours of Rosh Hashana day correspond to the first hours of the sixth day of creation, when all was perfect and Adam had not sinned. This is how God sees us, and our unsullied souls during these hours. There is nothing blocking infinite shefa – abundance of blessings – but our ability to receive them and to believe that God wants only that.

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