Shalom and Bracha!
May Hashem inscribe and seal you, your entire family and all of
those who are dear to you for a healthy, happy, prosperous
successful and sweet new year and may we see the redemption
through Moshiach immediately!
Although Rosh Hashanah is Rosh Chodesh, this Shabbat we do not
say the blessing for the upcoming month. This is one of several
customs to confuse the forces of evil concerning Rosh Hashanah.
The previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchock Schneerson,
instituted the customs saying the entire Tehillim and having a
special gathering in honor of Shabbat Mevarchim (the Shabbat
before Rosh Chodesh) in order to elicit Hashem’s blessings and
protection. These customs are observed this Shabbat as well. The
Baal Shem Tov taught that Hashem Himself blesses this Shabbat,
and with the power of His blessing the Jewish people bless the
other eleven or twelve months of the upcoming year.
This Shabbat we read the portions of Nitzavim and Vayeilech. The
portion of Nitzavim is always read before Rosh Hashanah, begins
with a message that is central to our approach to the High
Holidays. The portion begins “You are all standing today united
before Hashem your G-d; from the heads of your tribes… until
your water carriers to enter the covenant of Hashem.”
The Alter Rebbe explains in Likutei Torah that this verse refers
to Rosh Hashanah. The Torah teaches that our connection with
Hashem is a covenant. A covenant is a bond that transcends
logic. When two people have a great love for each other, they
create a covenant, a bond, so that even if at some time they
have difficulties with each other or they don’t see each other
for a period of time, they remain united. The exact term in the
verse is ‘L’avrcha Bivrit” which means to pass through a
covenant. The ancient way of making a covenant was to slice
something in half and for both parties to pass through,
symbolizing that they became as one body. Our connection with
Hashem is a covenant. Even if we have strayed, we are one. Every
year, on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, that bond is renewed
The Torah says that we must stand as one. Unity is the
key to Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the day when we crown
Hashem as our King. In the Rosh Hashanah prayers we say “There
shall be in Yeshurun a King when then people are gathered, the
tribes of Israel are united.” When there is unity, we can accept
Hashem’s Kingship. When there is a divided nation, we diminish
the coronation. A beautiful and significant way to express this
unity is to encourage and invite others to participate in
observing Rosh Hashanah. For those who need a place to worship,
Chabad centers throughout the world have services and do not
turn people away for not paying. Invite someone new to share in
apples and honey for a sweet new year!
Further, unity is there source of all blessings. When Hashem
sees His children united, it awakens His love and forgiveness.
Each day way pray, “Bless us our father all together in
your countenance.” When there is unity, there is blessing.
Further, unity is the key to Moshiach’s coming. Strife was that
cause of the destruction of the Temple and unity will be the key
to the coming of Moshiach. Moshiach will unite the entire world
to serve Hashem as one. By our unity, we initiate that global
The path to unity is illuminated in the verse. The Torah says
that you are all standing in front of Hashem. When I look at my
neighbor I must remember that just as Hashem made me an integral
part of His creation, so did He make my neighbor. Helping my
neighbor reach his perfection helps my reach mine. In Hashem’s
eyes we are all limbs of one body: if limbs are in conflict,
they damage themselves.
word Vayeilech means and he went. It teaches us that we must
always advance. As people, we constantly change. If we don’t go
higher, we fall lower. Once, a great Rebbe asked his students
the following: if two people are on two ladders, one on the
second rung and one on the fiftieth, which is higher? Realizing
there must be great depth in the question, the students waited
for the answer. The Rebbe concluded “It depends which way they
are going!” As we prepare for the New Year, we must advance in
our service of Hashem. In addition to general improvement, it is
important to take a new step, both in keeping a positive Mitzvah
more carefully, and in being cautious concerning a prohibition.
When our desire to improve is a general one, it often withers.
When it is connected to a specific deed, it lasts and bears
fruit. In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explains that on the day of
Rosh Hashanah a new divine illumination enters the world, the
likes of which have never been revealed until now. The new
Mitzvah or new step in a Mitzvah is our preparation to receive
the new Divine light. May G-d grant that the new light this year
will be the light of the redemption with the coming of Moshiach.
Shabbat Shalom and Ketivah Vachatimah Tovah!
Dedicated to Gittel Bas Miriam for a full and speedy
Rosh Hashanah is September 28th and Sukkot is October
12th. As the holidays approach, now is the time to
make sure that all of your holiday needs are taken care of. If
anyone needs a place to pray for the holidays or help attaining
a Sukkah or Lulav and Etrog, please contact my office.
is a great website to better understand this month and the
upcoming holidays. It also has times and services throughout the
Many families are struggling to put food on the table and the
holidays are upon us. Please send a generous donation to the
Chabad holiday food fund at the address below so that people who
are out of jobs can have a dignified and enjoyable holiday.
Contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org to make online donations.
Project of Chabad of Great Neck
East Shore Rd. Great Neck NY 11024
4874554 fax 516 4874807