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Rosh Hashana Posts Clarification

September 8, 2015

This was somehow posted before I completed it, and the entire time I spent editing it it appeared incomplete on this blog. I highly recommend reading the final version of An Offering of Oneself on Rosh Hashana.

This post, The Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur Services According to the Vilna Gaon, is from last year, but it has been updated, with much new material and explanations. God willing, it will be continue to be updated, so make sure to check it every year around this time.

My daughter asked why it was so many piyutim were added to the liturgy for the High Holy Days, and I offered that just like the lack of a Temple made the Jewish people seek an inappropriate outlet for their yearning for such gatherings, and just like the lack a sacrificial ritual made the Jewish people seek an inappropriate outlet for their yearnings for such activities, the lack of a true, happy holiday in the centuries long Gehenna that was Galuth Eropa led the Jewish people to create a refuge, a Noah’s ark for the preservation of the life in the land of Israel that had long ago vanished, a place where, separate from the European street filled with enemies and suffering, the Israelites could escape and go back in time to what was and what they prayed would be. What awaited the poor Jews of Europe when they left the synagogue on their New Year? Better that they spend the holiday isolated in prayer and song, and not venture outward to where the reality was far removed from the ideal.

However, today we live as free Jews in the land of Israel, and we can celebrate our holiday as God intended. We have delicious and plentiful food awaiting us at home, and we have little fear of the oppressors coming to ruin our holiday. We do not need to spend so much time in the synagogue in order to guarantee that the nature of the day be preserved. As such it is not necessary for us to try to recite all of the piyutim, and indeed it never was even in the olden days.

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From → halacha, original

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