The Wake-up Call the World Received in 5780
A Rosh HaShanah Message for 5781 From the Mashgiach
Whatever happens throughout the year, in actuality, took place on Rosh HaShanah, according to the Baalei Mussar. Looking back at this difficult year, we now know how much is at stake on Rosh Hashana. Rabbi Moshe Bamberger, mashgiach at Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud, shares his thoughts and insights on how we should prepare for Yom Hadin.
The year 5780 plagued the world with so much suffering. The Coronavirus pandemic, which brought illness and death of unimaginable proportions, the shuttering of our yeshivos and shuls and the passing of many important Torah personalities, the termination of the way we carry out our normal lives, can be said to have commenced not on Purim, which we commonly peg as its start, but rather a year ago, on Rosh HaShanah.
We got a wakeup call this year that Hashem is truly in charge. All the high-tech, the advances in science and medicine and our feeling of being powerful, healthy, safe and secure, were demonstrated as being but a figment of our imagination. Rosh HaShanah of last year was when Hashem saw fit to send the world this message.
This should be a powerful lesson for us regarding our upcoming Rosh HaShanah. As we see clearly how much hangs in the balance on this Day of Judgment, it reminds us of how much is at stake on this day. We must prepare ourselves for it during the month of Elul, the days of Selichos and Erev Rosh HaShanah. Teshuvah, tefilah and tzedakah — these are the weapons we have in our arsenal to rid ourselves of the evil decree of this past year.
We must pray with all the kavanah and sincerity we can that this global virus that claimed close to a million lives worldwide comes to an immediate end, and that we enjoy 5781 as a year filled with yeshuos and refuos, for Klal Yisrael and the entire world.
With heartfelt blessings of K'siva Vachasimah Tova,
Rabbi Moshe Bamberger