Echad L’Echad

Prayer verses Judgement

Dear Donors and Partners,

During this time of year, we are all davening to Hashem for a happy and sweet new year. If we think deeply about this, however, it seems absurd. On the one hand, Rosh Hashana is a day of judgement. If so, how then does prayer fit in? Hashem checks each person according to what he did that year leaving no room for supplications. On the other hand, Elul and Aseret yemei teshuva are days of prayer to Hashem. If so, where then is the judgement? The most puzzling of all is the moving prayer, “Unetane Tokef” which describes the fear of judgement on the one hand, and also “תשובה תפילה וצדקה מעבירים את רוע הגזרה”.

I would like to suggest an explanation in relation to tzedaka. Midat Hadin is that Hashem judges us in the same way that we judge others, midah k’neged midah. In the same way that we relate to others, Hashem relates to us. It is not for naught that the Rambam dictates that Jews do more good deeds during these days and donate more to charity. For charity comes from a compassionate heart, not from judgement. We hope Hashem will have compassion on us and therefore mention the prayer of Daniel “לך ה’ הצדקה”.

Thank you for your past support and we hope that you will continue supporting us in this coming year as well.

May we all have a Shana Tova Umetuka,

HaRav Yitzchak Neriya

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