Friday, October 07, 2005

Making g-d our kind!

Wow. Rosh Hashana in Jerusalem. Now that was an experience.

I guess I will start my story the night before rosh hashana. After night seder (around 11pm), the yeshiva sent two busloads of yeshiva bachurim to tsfat to visit the kevarot of the tsaddikim and go in the Arizal's mikve before Rosh Hashana. This was an unbelievable experience. I was in tsfat once already but going right before rosh hashana was quite amazing. We all know how Tsfat's mysticism makes even the most skeptical person dream about mystical things. For example, in front of Rav Yossef Caro's grave, we saw a huge spider, the type you never see in Montreal and think only exist in movies... Yes, that type! So, looking at that spider, I was reminded of the spider which protected King David against Shaoul Hamelech and told myself that maybe this spyder is doing the same to Rav Yossef Caro's grave. Of course, there is no basis to this argument but in some way that is what tsfat is about: connecting to the jewish tradition in our own way.

After being purified in the Ari's Mikveh, we prayed slichot in a Sephardic minyan. I, being from a morrocan origin, always pray slichot in the Sephardic minhag so I was happy. I was still surprised to see how sephardic these people were. They were still wearing the clothes from their original countries, praying with the same tunes you used to hear in Morroco, Syria, Lebanon etc... It was great!

Rosh Hashana started with a great sicha from Rav Elon. We then seperated for the first time between sephardic and ashkenaz minyan for arvit. We then rejoined to eat together at night in the cheder ochel. The athmosphere was full of joy and love of G-d. You see, while in chutz laaretz, the focus of Rosh Hashana is on Yom Hadin, the day of judgement, in Israel, it is on making G-d our king. Therefore, the day should be full of Joy. The next day, the sephardic minyan prayed Vatikin: We started praying at 5:30 am. We finished our prayer by 11. It was a prayer exactly like I am used to at home with all the extra kedusha and ruach of eretz israel. I was very pleased. At 11, we went to join to ashkenaz minyan who had just started mussaf. Rav Elon lead mussaf in their minyan, therefore, it took a long time but was really full of ruach:. Every 3 words was a song. Since we had sfinished our prayer, we joing their singing and dancing until around 2:30 pm. This was really great because I got to pray in my nussah without loosing on the great ruach the main yeshiva minyan has. We then went to Tashlich in Ir David. Rav Elon gave a great sicha there. He explained how the same water which is used to tashlich is also used in simcha beit hashoeva. How can that be if we contminate our water with sins? He explained that by simcha beit hashoeva, we will all have done teshuva and all our sins are turned into mitsvot and therefore, the water is not only not contaminated, but really pure.

The second day was very similar to the first one which was great since it was such an amazing holiday.

On this rosh hashana, I want to wish all the readers a happy new year, a year of joy, gueoula, yeshuva, avodat hashem and limmud torah, and I want to wish all the people still in chutz laaretz that this year becomes the year they get in the plane of kibbutz galuyot which is ready to leave and just waiting for you.

May this year be a year without tsunamis, New Orleans disasters, hurricanes, disengagements, terrorism, but rather a year of love, peace, aliyah, and mashiach.

Shana Tova

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