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Conception Of The Year
Why is it that on Rosh
Hashana we are judged for the entire year?
When a child is being
conceived, his entire genetic make-up is being put in place. After this point
he is locked into his physical genetic coding.
Similarly, in a court case, it is easier to be exonerated during the case
rather than having the verdict changed afterwards.
Rosh Hashana is the
conception of the year and as the Gemara states one’s sustenance is set from
So, on Rosh Hashana we are judged for the entire year,
since it is the point of conception. With this we can explain טוב אחרית דבר מראשיתו- a good end is dependent
on its beginning.
To what can this be compared?
To one who has a cut in his foot while another has a cut in his head. It is
obviously more severe in the head. This is why people are very careful with how
they behave on ראש השנה as it is the head.
There was a child who once
caught a cold and died five days later. The people were in shock that a child
could die from a cold in five days. R’ Chaim Shmulevitz, however, had a
different take as he said that the child didn’t catch a cold five days ago
rather he caught the cold on Rosh Hashana.
The Pasuk says מרשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה; from the beginning of the year until year’s end.
מרשית is composed of the same letters as מתשרי, meaning from Rosh Hashana which is the beginning of the year,
as everything until אחרית שנה is from
the death of R’ Reuven Bauman, who swam out into the ocean in Virginia to rescue
a student and then drowned in July 2019, R’ Chaim
Kanievsky commented, “Last Rosh Hashana it was decided that Reuven’s time was
But Hashem gave Reuven the zechus not just
to move on…but to make his last act a tremendous Mitzva.”
R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai
Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman
Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites
and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim
where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching
Jews of all levels of observance.
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