When he killed them, then they inquired after him.
They returned and sought God earnestly.
They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God, their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouth,
and lied to him with their tongue.
For their heart was not right with him,
neither were they faithful in his covenant.
But he, being merciful, forgave iniquity, and didn’t destroy them.
Yes, many times he turned his anger away,
and didn’t stir up all his wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes away, and doesn’t come again.
Rabbi Judah said, we have learned that there is remembering for good and a remembering for evil. An example of remembering for good is: “But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors.” (Leviticus 26:45) An example of remembering for evil is: “So He remembered that they were but flesh.” (Psalm 78:39) The verses that speak of remembering for good describe the joining of the Upper and Lower worlds, as we align ourselves to receive God’s Light and reflect it back through our actions, thoughts and words. Remembering for evil describe a situation in which people cease to look above in order to receive God’s Light, and search only for the light or pleasures of this world.” (Zohar, Volume 1, 160a)
Although the verse in the Psalm above describes God remembering our limitations so that He could turn away His anger, the Zohar is teaching us that we pay a price: limitation.
We have a choice when we speak of Zichronot – God’s Timeless memory – on Rosh Hashanah: We can ask that He judge us according to our limitations so that we can “escape” the consequences of our mistakes. Or, we can stand before God with full appreciation of our boundless potential and ask that He “remember” us in that light.
The fact that we are rush to Rosh Hashana, and are willing to stand before Him for judgment reflects our passionate desire for that deep connection. We align ourselves to receive His light, and will be granted opportunities to reflect His light in our lives.