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Rosh Hashana Prayers: Third Paragraph of Shema: First Night



Preparation for Zichronot: “And it shall constitute Tzitzit for you, that you may see it and remember all the commandments of God and perform them; and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray. So that you may remember and perform all My commandments; and be holy to your Lord.”

Rosh Hashana is also known as “Yom Hazikaron,” or, “The Day of Remembrance.” One of the three themes of the Mussaf, or, Additional Service, is Zichronot, Remembrances. It is appropriate to focus on the two “remembers” of this paragraph:

The first, “that you may see it and remember all the commandments of God and perform them; and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray,” happens in stages:

  1. See the Tzitzit.
  2. Remember the commandments.
  3. Perform them.
  4. Their performance will protect us from straying.

The second “Remember,” “So that you may remember and perform all My commandments; and be holy to your Lord,” also works in stages:

  1. Once we have achieved performance that protects, we remember again.
  2. We perform the same commandments at a higher level.
  3. We become holy to God.

Kavanah:
I intend to use this Day of Remembrance to recall what is important to me, turn it into action that will protect me, and then allow me to perform the commandments so that I will achieve Holiness.

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