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Rosh HaShana: Kabbalat Ole Malchut Shamayim / Accepting God’s Kingship

Lesson 23 Sept 21 for Day 1 of Rosh HaShana


Please print out these materials before the start of the Rosh HaShana Yom Tov
Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe (1914 – 2005) [Alei Shur vol. 2, p. 431]:
The Sages tell us (Sifrei parashat V’zot ha’Beracha):
“He became King over Jeshurun”- When [the nation of] Israel is unified below, the great Name [of God] is exalted above, as the verse states: “He became King over Jeshurun.” When? “When the leaders of Israel gathered the tribes of Israel in unity.” (Devarim 33:5) When are “the tribes of Israel gathered in unity”? When they form one legion and not when they split into many legions.
There is no king without a nation, and there is no nation without unity. It is impossible to approach the “Day of our King” when among us there is dissention in our hearts. We therefore have an enormous responsibility to strengthen our love of humanity and the pursuit of peace, as we approach the Day of Judgment.
It comes out then that perfecting our middot is not only an opening of hope for us to merit a positive judgment, but that kabbalot ole malchut Shamayim / accepting God’s sovereignty is impossible without it (perfecting our middot). Thus, during the month of Elul there is a double obligation to strengthen our commitment to act with positive middot, to distance ourselves from anger and harshness, hatred, jealousy, as much as possible. It is also fitting that before we pray, we mentally commit ourselves to love humanity and to be forgiving and flexible.
Does the connection between perfecting one’s "middot" and "Kabbalat ole Malchut Shamayim" resonate with you? Why or why not? What specific steps can you take to make this lesson practical in your life in preparation for the Day of Judgment?
Your practice for this week is to focus on prayer using Psalm 27 as your guide. As you recite L'David today, concentrate with special intensity on the meaning of the following verse and how it applies to you. Allow the words of the Psalm to motivate and inspire you to act with positive middot and to love humanity. Feel free to express your thoughts and feelings in your own words:
Verse 11:
“Instruct me, O Lord, in Your way, and lead me in the straight path because of those who lie in wait for me.”
ה֚וֹרֵ֥נִי יְהֹוָ֗ה דַּ֫רְכֶּ֥ךָ וּ֖נְחֵנִי בְּאֹ֣רַח מִישׁ֑וֹר לְ֜מַ֗עַן שֽׁוֹרְרָֽי.

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