A git yur!
Our Rabbis teach us that the first human being, Adam, was created on Rosh Hashanah. They also tell us that many other incredible events took place on this auspicious day; on Rosh Hashanah our matriarchs, Sarah and Rachel, who were barren, conceived a child; Sara later giving birth to our patriarch Isaac and Rachel to the righteous Joseph. On this day Chanah who was childless also conceived a child giving birth nine months later to the great prophet Samuel. Indeed it was on Rosh Hashanah that Joseph was freed from prison in Egypt after being summoned by the Pharaoh to interpret his disturbing dreams, which ultimately led to his great ascent becoming viceroy of Egypt and which, undoubtedly, placed the Jewish community in a very favorable position in the palace. And finally it was on this date, centuries later, that the harsh labor of enslavement ended for our ancestors; planting the first seeds of the upcoming redemption which culminated on Passover.
From all this we clearly see that Rosh Hashanah is a day of great favoritism, extraordinary historic experiences took place on it and great men and women were shown salvation on it. Why then was it selected to be the Day of Judgment? Everything good we ever desired is being balanced on the scale. An enormous wish list consisting of health, happiness, sustenance, marriage, good children, peace, etc., we so desperately want to be granted to by G-d, is being evaluated by the Judge of judges on this very day while we stand in solemn prayer, hoping, yearning, crying.
The answer is enlightening. There is no contradiction whatsoever. It is two sides of the same coin really. G-d in His profound compassion and deep sympathy had designated exactly this day with its so many positive outcomes to be the Day of Judgment in order to provide us with hope that everything will be alright and that even though we are being screened and our deeds scrutinized, nevertheless, this is a day of salvation and deliverance.
This is why, unlike Yom-Kippur, which is a fast day, Rosh Hashanah is a Yom-Tov, literally: ‘good day’. It is a good day, it is a very good day, a historic good day. HaShem is telling us it is going to be alright. It is going to be OK. Have hope, have faith. Pray to Me with all your heart, ask of Me sincerely and I will give you like I gave Sara, Rachel, Chana and Joseph.
It is this bright and encouraging mood that makes G-d transition from the throne of judgment to the throne of mercy on Rosh Hashanah and tip the scale in favor of His people Israel for a sweet new year, and it is through this optimism that Ruhama and our children, Avneri, Akiva and Tamara join me in wishing you all a Leshana tova umetukah tikatevu ve’techatemu - May you be inscribed and signed for a good and sweet year!
RABBI ARIEL YESHURUN