ROSH HASHONNA


1. (a) Questions: petition for mercy contradicts strict justice - how possible on Rosh Hashonna? (b) G-d wanted to create the world with strict justice but saw that it could not survive and so created it with justice and mercy?! (c) How are both fear and joy appropriate? ("Happy is he who is always fearful."?!) (d) G-d is called "king" - what is a king? (e) Why is "Our father, our king" always in that order?

2. The relation between chesed (lovingkindness) and justice

a. G-d created the world in order to express chesed: everything that exists or  occurs must be traceable to chesed 

            b. chesed can require the application of justice - irresponsible child

            c. highest charity is to give a job - provides support and preserves dignity -

            G-d also does the highest charity with us by allowing us to earn the good He       bestows

            d. justice is the definition of "earned"           

3. Answers: (a),(e) If justice serves chesed, then even on the day of justice we can appeal to chesed: if an application of justice contradicts chesed it can be overruled.

(b) Perfect chesed would be done through perfect justice since all benefit would be perfectly earned. But if perfect justice will drastically reduce the amount of benefit bestowed, then the requirement of earning is relaxed in order to increase the benefit. Quantity vs. quality. (c),(e) A difficult, important test causes fear of failure together with joy at having an opportunity to do something great - this is the essence of all Jewish life. Rosh Hashonna is the judgment of King Who is Father - the judgment as an expression of chesed - hence our confidence and joy. (d),(e) A king owns his kingdom and hence has the right to do with it as he pleases. G-d is truly King since He created the universe. Being Father first, He does chesed with His right.

4. The shofar announces G-d's presence ("Seek G-d when He is found" - from Rosh Hashonna through Yom Kippur; shofar at the end of Yom Kippur). The coronation.

5. How to do teshuva with joy - story of the king's visit.


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