Erev Rosh Hashanah is a big day.
You have a lot to do. There isn’t a lot of time. And besides, you want to walk into shul that evening feeling calm and collected, full of yirah and with all the right thoughts and feelings. No question about it, this is big.
There is the home and the family and the job and the learning and the shopping… and selichos on Erev Rosh Hashanah are especially long. That’s a good thing, of course.
Because you want to be spiritually prepared.
Which brings us to the point. There is an absolutely awesome thing that the Gedolei Hador shlita do for us on Erev Rosh Hashanah. If you wouldn’t have read about it in a totally reliable source like a Vaad Harabbanim brochure, you wouldn’t even believe it.
Who has time to go to the Kosel on Erev Rosh Hashanah?
In the afternoon?
Even if you live in Yerushalayim, but why now? Can’t you wait for chol hamoed or something?
No. It has to be on Erev Rosh Hashanah, in the afternoon.
Because a new year is about to commence for Klal Yisrael and for Vaad Harabbanim’s donors.
So the Gedolei Yerushalayim leave their homes, and their batei midrash, and everything else a Jew has to do in preparation for two days of Yom Tov followed by Shabbos, and they go out in the summer heat to travel to the Kosel Hamaaravi, in order to daven for a good, gebentsched new year for Vaad Harabbanim’s donors. And the other Gedolim, who live too far away to get back home before Yom Tov, what do they do? They put aside whatever they are involved with, even the really important things, and join in with the davening, from their homes.
And it’s all worth it.
Because it is the right time and the right place and the right reason. Vaad Harabbanim is worth every effort. That’s why the Gedolim make that effort. And since you donate, they go out of their way for you, they travel to the Kosel, even when it is not very convenient, to do everything in their power that you and yours should be written and sealed for the best year you ever had in your life.
You deserve all this, because you are a Vaad Harabbanim donor. Translated into English, this means you care. You care about impoverished and suffering Jews, wherever they may be. You care about giving tzedaka in the most mehudar manner possible. You care about Yom HaDin. And you care about yourself, too – that you and your family, along with all Klal Yisrael, should be judged favorably, and granted another year, lechayim tovim uleshalom. Amen.
We tend to suffer from a lot of false assumptions. We get used to all the good things we have in our comfortable, modern lives, and we sort of assume that everything will just keep rolling along, more or less.
We assume that the tragedies will always happen to the other person.
We assume that the wars will always be on another continent.
We assume that the bankruptcy applications will always be sent in by another business.
Not to talk about the more personal issues…
That’s why we need to hear the shofar. It wakes us up to the rude reality that this is all, well, just false assumptions.
Because there are no guarantees. Nothing has to continue on like it did in the past.
And that’s why we spend a lot of time in shul on Rosh Hashanah, standing in fear and trepidation before the King, Who sits on the Kisei Hadin, and decides what will be. Every single person has to walk in front of him, all on his own, and be judged.
But On The Positive Side
Let’s talk positive. All the unpleasant things in our lives don’t have to continue, either. It could all just come to an abrupt end, and everything will be happy ever after. Who says the suffering has to go on?
It is a totally new year, with totally new rules being written for it. And you can do a lot to influence those rules.
A Balanced Approach
A Jew always takes the balanced approach. That means your merits and your liabilities are equally balanced. The scale is in a state of equilibrium, so it’s not so hard to tip it in your favor.
This brings us back to the point.
The Gedolei Hador want to tip things in your favor. All you have to do is let them do it. All you have to do is make your respectable contribution, according to your means, to Vaad Harabbanim, and that sets everything in action.
Then the tens of thousands of suffering, needy Jews, wherever they may be, will be so grateful to you. You saved them from all kinds of unspeakable predicaments. All those almanos and yesomim, all those people wasting away from severe health problems, all those families that are facing hunger and eviction and all sorts of unbearable torments.
They will be so grateful to you, and they will bless you from the depths of their hearts!
And you will have fulfilled the mitzvah of tzedaka just like you should. Tzedaka is a veritable powerhouse of yeshu’os.
And the Gedolim will daven for you. At the Kosel. On Erev Rosh Hashanah.
So just let them do it for you.