Yom Kippur – 5772 – 2011
There is a concept in Judaism that one can obliterate harsh judgment (Din), in the lower world (this world) through rectifying thoughts. The offshoots of this tikkunhamachshava (rectification of thoughts) enables judgment to be sweetened into lovingkindness, affecting the person working at it and the entire world. The imagistic poetry of ShlomoHaMelech describes this in the passuk (ShirHaShirim 8:3) “His left hand is under my head and His right embracing me.” The left side is demonstrative of Din, the right- Chesed. The mental image of Shlomo’spassuk is one of hands and the head. We are familiar also with the analogy of the year as a complete physical body. It has a head, a heart, a torso, arms feet, etc.. These parts correspond to the twelve months of the year. The first month, Tishrei correlates to the head which has the job of directing the body to where it will go and what it will do. This all has to do with what it decides. Thinking reasoning and the intellectual grasp of wisdom pertain to the first two days of Rosh Hashana. On the tenth day, Yom Kippur, a new level of understanding comes into play : the spirit of the psyche and a completely rectified way of knowing G-d. Fear of heaven graduates into love of Hashem.
The year begins with a chance to start on a “clean slate” of thought. The process of teshuva begins when making the decision that life’s goals are to be dedicated to Hashem – like our Rabbis say: “If a person does an act of glory for Heaven’s sake- leshaymshamayim- he will prevail in this world and prosper in the upper worlds.” When reaching this state there is no intellectual grasp or power of reason. This is a place so high in the nefesh and ruach (spirit and soul) that it is here that a person realizes how low and powerless he is without G-d. We ask what can we do to reach this ultimate level – the level of understanding G-d that Yom Kippur brings with it on the Day of Judgment – albeit a happy joyous fast day. Our Rabbis tell us that by turning compassion and kindness into a real way of life we can change the world. First we have to change our way of thinking. Then when we understand what Hashem wants from us – we act! This is what TikkunOlam is all about.
When I think of the rosh and the world today and ask how judgment can be sweetened if we just understand, I see the Jewish settlers that live out in Israel’s heartland as truly the head of the body, carrying the torch of light in so dark a world. The world is FULL of judgment. The double standards, the UN resolutions, the Clintons and Sarkozys, the lies of the media, the apathy of many of the people who should be standing behind but remain silent, the enemy that stops at nothing to do evil and the list goes on.The settler in all humbleness knows Hashem’s plan and acts for Heaven’s glory. Am Yisrael is about to undergo tremendous preparations for the near future. During the last months we have witnessed a shift in world events. As we anticipate the Day of Atonement we must begin to prepare ourselves for a New Year that will bring a more definite clarification about what we are doing here in the very center of the world, in the very heart of Israel. People need to understand that judgment is being sweetened by the supreme sacrifices being made by settlers in breaking through all the barriers set before them as a priority for the body of all of Am Yisrael and for the goodness of the world. The inmost mind of the world should be focused on Hashem creating this new year for the sole potential of fruition of His intention, the Land of Israel being the source of chiyut (life force) for the entire world. During these days of teshuva it is time to “litfoserosh”- carry your head, and change your way of thinking as the King embraces you with His right hand. It is time to understand what Israel means to G-d, the Jewish people and the world.
G’marChatimahTova to all our Friends of Itamar! This torah is being dedicated to my father, a”h, z”l- Moshe Ben Yaakov Krantz whose 18thyartzeit will be this Yom Kippur. May his soul have much pride and joy in the generations that have come out of him here in the Land of the Living and may he rise closer and closer to Hashem and be a sanigor for all of Am Yisrael.
YihiZichro Baruch! Leah Goldsmith