Rosh HaShana II

A comment by Tosefot in the fourth chapter of Tractate Brachot, in order to prove that the Musaf prayer can usually be said as early as one wants (after finishing Shacharit), refers to a rule that on Rosh HaShana one may not say Musaf until after the third hour (implying that earlier is permitted the rest of the year). The stated reason is that B’nei M’Lachim, the sons of (secular) kings usually get up at that time.

Of course this is a very curious citation and reason until you recall the structure of the Rosh HaShana Musaf prayer which incorporates the special sections, Malchiot (kingship), Shofrot (references to the Shofar) and Zichronot (rememberences).

It’s said that on Rosh HaShana, we, the Jewish people, crown, as it were, our God and declare his Kingship (more curious still, an aspect of the Creator described as feminine). Keter, or crown, represents the beginning of the process of divine creation and revelation, Malchut, kingship, the culmination of the process. By trying to integrate the beginning with the end, as described in a previous article, ( rosh_hashana.htm), we try to contribute to the creation of the final goal where the pure, simple, Godly Goodness, fully realized and revealed, illuminates, warms and nourishes the world.

To try to avoid detours, distraction and short-circuiting ourselves, we emphasize the dedication of our Musaf to the Infinite and Transcendant Creator, the Invisible God, the Ein Sof and not to any lesser force or being. We make it impossible to confuse ourselves with any concrete, material and thus finite concept; any person, any leader no matter how inspiring; any ben Melech, no matter how powerful, how beloved; with any fixed idea, no matter how appealing. As we enter this intensive period of Tshuva, of return to our potentials, of growth, of self-examination, re-dedication to our goals and refinement of ourselves and our world, we run away from complacence and towards engagement.

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