Monday, September 09, 2013

Tishrei 5, 5774

It's the day after Tzom Gedaliah, the first day of an almost full week, the fullest one for September. Rosh HaShanah still lingers, thoughts and ideas that I learned on those holy days. Work looms; taught some classes, met with some students and faculty members. Everyone feels a lot has to be done between the holidays in the days we have.  That is literal about school work and also applies broadly to life work.

I spoke to dad, it seems to be what makes sense, to speak daily - at least once.  G-d please bless my father with health along with all who need that blessing.

The Shemen HaTov writes that Rosh HaShanah is about global issues - the kingdom of G-d on earth and the relstad themes. Personal matters are pushed aside or kept in the margins.

He tells a story that (his nephew tells me) was passed down in the family first hand.  In Belz on Rosh HaShanah an expensive item was stolen (a streimel). Ater Yom Tov they told the Rebbe. He called in one person and that person confessed. How did he know? The Rebbe explained that of all the notes (kvitels) that he received before the holiday only one person had petitioned for his own material needs.  He knew that that was the person who stole the streimel. (It is hard to imagine that in this poverty stricken place and time no-one askedthe rebbe for help with their physical needs.  So the story goes and it is passed down from reliable witnesses.)

Rabbi Bernard Weinberger, the author of Shemen HaTov goes on to say that this relates to the simanim at the Rosh HaShanah meal. This is the one time, in private at the meal, that we are allowed and even encouraged to petition for our own personal needs.  And this stands in contrast to our public stance of asking only for bigger more universal things.


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