Rosh Hashanah Prayers: Kedusha
From an unedited transcript of a shiur: The third beracha of Shemoneh Esrei which is the beracha of Kedusha, right. I’m going to explain this to you. When I’m finished explaining it to you, I would like you all to say wow,
that was incredible, that was mind blowing, that was the greatest thing I ever heard in my life, and then I would like you to stand up and give me a standing ovation.
Are you going to do it?
But I just have one problem with it and that is that now that I’ve asked you to do it and it won’t be spontaneous, how much will it be when you do it?
Not too much
Not too much. Yeah, you’re right, maybe it’s not worth it. So then may I ask a question? Then what’s the point of G-d creating angels to praise Him? He created them to praise Him, of course they’re going to praise Him. Wow, the holy ones praise you all of the time. Of course, because if they don’t praise You, You’re going to zap em. The only reason you created them in the first place, wow, that’s really cool G-d, You have billions of angels praising You but of course, I’m not going to mention the fact that that’s why You created them. So what’s the big deal? What’s the difference between you standing up and giving me a standing ovation and Hashem having all these praises from the angels?
We have a choice to do it and not to do it?
So then our praise is better. I mean you now are paid 10 bucks each to do it. Well, not really, forget it I don’t want to make promises right before Rosh Hashanah. It’s too dangerous. The idea is Hashem doesn’t need the praise of the angels. Do we agree?
And the angels praising Hashem does not do anything for Hashem. Therefore if Hashem does it, or more accurately, if it’s in the first three berachos of Shemoneh Esrei, then it has nothing to do with Hashem, it has to do with things Hashem is doing for us. The reason the angels are there, the reason Hashem created them to praise Him is because it creates a spiritual influence that we can then use to praise Hashem ourselves. That’s why there are angels, because it creates an influence in the world of praising Hashem, of awareness of Hashem, of singing to Hashem, and we can take that power of the praises and the songs of the angel and use that in ourselves to praise Hashem.
And by the way, this is more true on Rosh Hashanah than on any other time of the year, because one of the most important themes of this beracha is that it is not only we, on this world who are judged. It is not only the Jewish people, it is not only human beings, it’s not just the creations of earth, it is the entire Universe, both physical and spiritual, the heaven, the heavens of the heavens, the highest of the heavens, everything is being judged. So therefore since we are all being judged at the same time, all the world, so therefore we can attach the angels’ praise of Hashem because they too are being judged. And by the way, what would G-d be judging angels for? What would G-d be judging the sun and the moon for?
What’s the purpose of their existence?
To praise Him
Hashem doesn’t need them to praise Him.
To do what they have to do.
What do they have to do?
Light up the world
Us. Therefore, Hashem’s judgment of the angels or Hashem’s judgment of the transcendental forces or Hashem’s judgment of the highest heavens is how are they being maximized by us in terms of our using them to serve Hashem at a higher level. So at no moment during the year is the attachment between us and the transcendental forces, between human beings and the angels more powerful than on Rosh Hashanah, when Hashem is judging all these things and saying angels, what influence are you giving them, are they using their influence.
What type of influence should I give them? How should I change that influence? Everything is being judged, and that’s why you will find different levels of creation referred to in this beracha, in the 3rd beracha, because Hashem is judging all the worlds.
So we are attaching to all of those worlds. So the angels want us to daven well too. The transcendental forces want us to daven well too, and if we are aware of our connection with them, then our tefillahs, our prayers can become much more powerful, exponentially so.
But not only that, if this is a moment which all of creation is being judged, not just the physical universe but the spiritual universes as well, then it is a time of fixing, which is why you will notice that despite the fact that during the year whenever we pray to Hashem, we first pray for the destruction of evil and then we pray for the righteous.
First we say the beracha of Velamalshinim, for those who slander G-d and then we praise the righteous, Al Hatzadikkim, because in a world that isn’t fixed, evil’s grip on the world must first be broken before the good can come out.
But Rosh Hashanah is a time when everything is present there. It’s a time of fixing. It’s a time when Hashem is declaring G-d, Hashem’s malchus, Kingship, so it is a moment of perfection, therefore the good is more present, the good is more real and therefore we don’t have to pray for the destruction of evil before we pray for the righteous.
We can first pray V’chein tzadikkim yiru v’yismachu – the tzadikkim they will see and they will be happy and after praying about the tzadikkim and the yesharim, the righteous, the Chassidim – the pious ones; then we speak about the destruction of evil, because on Rosh Hashanah it is the good that will destroy the evil, it is the awareness of G-d and this connection of G-d that will destroy the evil in the world and creation in my life, rather than needing to break the evil first in order to attach to that which is good and to that which will benefit our connection with Hashem.
And that’s why it’s important to remember the different levels of judgment that are taking place and how we can take advantage of all of them.