If you could conclude year 5779 at the Kosel Hamaaravi, that would be pretty sweet, right? Imagine you are standing there at the gate of Heaven, in front of those big ancient stones, davening the best tefilah of your life. Totally pouring out your heart to Avinu Shebashamayim. You are asking that year 5780 should be sweet and good. No more orphans this year. No more tragedies this year. Only good news, and that’s it.
But we are at home, thousands of miles from Yerushalayim. Busy with preparations for two days of Yom Tov, hurrying from task to task, just trying to get everything done and still get to shul on time.
This is exactly when the royal entourage of the Gedolei Hador journeys to the Kosel. The sun is in the west, it’s four hours before candlelighting, and the Gedolei Hador are there, bringing us before the Kisei Hakavod.
Poskim, Rebbes, Rosh Yeshivos are there davening for us, putting their full weight into tipping the Heavenly scales in our favor.
“This Tefilah has the power” – so stated Moreinu Posek Hador Harav Hagaon Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zatzal. “The Maamad Tefilah of Vaad Harabbanim on Erev Rosh Hashanah has the power to change a person’s gezar din to life…!”
We are swinging between life and death.
On Rosh Hashanah, everything we have is judged anew, and no detail is taken for granted. Even our own body is not in our control: sight, hearing, breathing. The ability to get up and take a few steps, to hold a cup of coffee. To swallow the liquid. How many babies were born this year without the reflex to swallow, how many sick people were nourished intravenously?
And what about emotional health?
And parnassah? Will we be able to keep up the mortgage payments on the new home? Will the business take off, or…
And our children. Take a look at them, go over them from young to old. What do we want for them in the coming year?
It’s enough to take one cursory look at the stack of requests for assistance that came in recently to the offices of Vaad Harabbanim to understand how much we have to daven about. It’s better to be a donor than a recipient. Much better.
We can’t deny that there is tension in the air when Rosh Hashanah approaches.
That’s why the Gedolei Hador take the initiative. They are already there at the Kosel hours before Rosh Hashanah even begins. And they daven for you, dear donor. For you. You must admit that you need a little tefilah as Rosh Hashanah approaches. If the angels tremble, then we, too, need a tefilah, because there are some important decisions being made up there.
The only thing that can guarantee passing judgment of Rosh Hashanah is to be someone who is needed by the rabbim. And it is clearly stated that tzedakah saves even from death.
You don’t have to be a gaon to understand the need to give tzedakah to Vaad Harabbanim at this critical time and have the Geonei Olam daven for you at the Kosel right before Rosh Hashanah. 14 Gedolim are expected to participate in this year’s prayer session at the Kosel.