Vol 24.28 - Rosh HaShannah Spanish French Audio Video
(5742) Many Minhagim (customs) whose reason is to confuse the Satan so the he will not accuse on Rosh HaShannah -
the explanation of confusing the Satan
1. One of the reasons that we do not mention Rosh Chodesh in the Rosh Hashanah prayers is : “To confuse the Satan, so that he should not know that today is Rosh Chodesh Tishrei (and that he will not accuse)
At first glance it is not understood:
The “Satan” (Adversary) is an angel and comes to the Supernal Court (Beit Din) etc, And as explained in the book of Job (Iyov – in the beginning) that the Satan came on the Day of Judgment (on Rosh Hashanah) among the angels of G-d “to stand beside the L-rd” - How then can we say that we can “confuse” him and “mislead” him, in such a simple thing, that he should not know (because of these customs) that it is Rosh Hashanah – something that is well publicized, printed in calendars etc. etc,
2. The Levush also brings this reason - “in order to confuse the Satan so that he will not know that it is Rosh Hashanah”. But he adds: “Since it is not been sanctified”
Accordingly we could explain, according to the known (law), that the setting of the New Months is dependent upon Beit Din. Rosh Chodesh is established only through the sanctification by Jews. Through the act of Beit Din (Yidden) establishing the day as Rosh Chodesh, it becomes Rosh Chodesh.
So much so, that “when the ministering angels approach G-d and ask ‘When is Rosh Hashanah ’, ‘When is Yom Kippurim’, G-d says to them: ‘Are you asking Me? Let us both go to the Beit Din Shel Matah (the earthly court)
One could understand that by not mentioning Rosh Chodesh in the prayers of Rosh Hashanah and by not mentioning it in the preceding Shabbat, that it is, as if it was not set as Rosh Chodesh Tishrei, and consequently the Satan does not know (with certainty) that “the day is Rosh Hashanah”
But this answer is not sufficient, because:
1) On Rosh Hashanah we do many things in which it is shown and stressed that the day is Rosh Hashanah (Rosh Chodesh Tishrei) – How therefore can we say, that because “we did not sanctify it” (Rosh Chodesh), the Satan does not know that it is Rosh Hashanah?
2) And mainly. The reason for “confusing the Satan” is brought regarding two customs which have no relation to the subject of Rosh Chodesh:
a) “And for this reason we do not blow (Shofar) on Erev Rosh Hashanah, because then the Satan would reason that it is the Eve of the Day of Judgment”
b) “And from this power, we begin to read (Parshat) Bereshit on Simchat Torah in order that it should not be known whether it is the beginning of the year or the end of the year”
The question thus returns: How is it possible to say, that through not blowing (Shofar) on Erev Rosh Hashanah, and by not reading (Parshat) Bereshit on Rosh Hashanah, we are confusing the Satan, that he should think that “the Day of Judgment has passed” etc? Specifically when from many things it is proven that the day is Rosh Hashanah (and Rosh Chodesh)?
3. We can understand by prefacing that this concept of confusing the Satan is also brought as a reason for the Minhag of blowing Shofar during the month of Elul - Through this we confuse the Satan so that he should not know when it is Rosh Hashanah.
And this is also not understood, as above: How can we “fool” the Satan. That he should not know when is Rosh Hashanah?
The concept of confusing the Satan is found (in connection with Rosh Hashanah) in the Talmud by the general Mitzvah of Shofar Blowing on Rosh Hashanah: (Talmud Rosh Hashanah16a)
“R. Isaac said etc. Why do we sound a teki'ah and teru'ah! — sitting and then again sound a teki'ah and teru'ah standing? — it is so as to confuse the Accuser”. Rashi explains there “So that he should not accuse, when he hears the Jews treasuring the Mitzvot, his words are silenced". In other words, since the Jews are not satisfied with the tekiot and teruot one time, but they blow the sounds again, this shows that they treasure the Mitzvot - and this silences the words of the Accusing Satan.
Accordingly, we can also explain the concept of confusing the Satan with regard to the tekiot in the month of Elul:
The purpose of the tekiot of the month of Elul is (as is known) “in order to warn Yisroel to do Teshuvah (repent) as it states (Amo3:6) “Will a shofar be sounded in the city and the people not quake?” Therefore, through the Yidden blowing shofar and becoming awakened with Teshuvah, the Satan becomes confused, thinking that through their Teshuvah in the month of Elul, that already in Elul, the Jews have been vindicated in judgment, and therefore, there is no point (to accuse), and he has nothing to use, to accuse on Rosh Hashanah - (effectively) “Silencing him”.
4. Accordingly, we can also understand the saying that the “confusing of the Satan “(through the tekiot of Elul) accomplished that “he does not understand when will be Rosh Hashanah”:
The meaning of “he does not understand when will be Rosh Hashanah” is:
(Not that he doesn’t know (what is stated in the calendar) when is the day (time) of
Rosh Hashanah) (But, rather)
that he doesn’t know when the critical moment is, the essential part of Rosh Hashanah , the judgment and sentence of Rosh Hashanah (which that is the time to accuse) [as it states explicitly in Maharal: And he does not know when is the judgment to accuse]
When a Jew does Teshuvah properly before Rosh Hashanah arrives, he is assured that he will be inscribed and sealed in the Book of the Righteous – his “judgment” has already been decreed for the Good in the month of Elul,
[And specifically as we find in many places, that one can, through proper Teshuvah and prayer, on any day of the year (not just Rosh Hashanah),merit a complete decree for Good;
For example: King Chizkiyahu accomplished through Teshuvah and prayer that “I will add to your life (days) fifteen years” . And it is apparent from the story that it was not a special time like Rosh Hashanah etc]
And therefore the Satan is confused from the Tekiot of the month of Elul; He thinks that the Jews, through their Teshuvah awakening in the month of Elul, have already been vindicated in judgment (and his accusations cannot accomplish anything)
So, since his accusations on Rosh Hashanah are only of because of doubt, they are consequently without force etc.
And according to this logic, it is also understood that which “we do not blow (shofar) Erev Rosh Hashanah” because then he would think that the Day of Judgment has passed”:
In order to further confuse the Satan to think that the Jews have already been vindicated in judgment in the month of Elul (through the awakening of Teshuvah from the tekiot of the month of Elul) one stops (mevatel) (Erev Rosh Hashanah) the tekiot of the month of Elul. We already do not need the awakening of the tekiot.
[ [And even though the Satan knows, that the cessation of Shofar blowing on Erev Rosh Hashanah is an old established custom, and that its reason and point is, precisely, for this itself, to confuse the Satan – it is a custom that (Minhag Yisroel) is (considered as) Torah, the Torah of Truth (Torat Emes) and consequently, if we merited - it (the complete merit in Judgment) would truly be so, that we would have already accomplished the Avodah of Rosh Hashanah and the “Day of Judgment has passed”; And therefore his accusations are because of doubt, with a weakness etc.]
5. Accordingly we can seemingly answer all the aforementioned things which we refrain from doing on Rosh Hashanah to “confuse the Satan” so that he should not know that it is Rosh Hashanah:
That which Rosh Hashanah is the same time as the day of Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is not only an aspect of the course of time (that the beginning of the year is automatically the beginning of the month) but it also is connected (and in the language of Talmud "ahania" (“affects”)) to the aspect and essence of Rosh Hashanah; The awakening that comes about because it is Rosh Chodesh, adds to the awakening in the Avodah of the day of Rosh Hashanah, and consequently also in its outcome – to merit in Judgment.
The same thing is also (concerning “it would be proper to read Parshat Bereshit on Rosh Hashanah”, for one could say that this is not just that Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the year (in time) but also because the concept of “completing the Torah” and “beginning the Torah” added to the merits of the Yidden –
And as understood, that both, a greater awakening, and an addition in the merits of Yidden are a great help in the Avodah and effort, on Rosh Hashanah, to be vindicated in judgment.
And this is the intent of the reason that we do not mention Rosh Chodesh on Rosh Hashanah “ to confuse the Satan so that he should not know it is Rosh Chodesh Tishrei” (this does not mean a lack of understanding regarding the time of Rosh Chodesh on Rosh Hashanah, rather it concerns - his dealings and Avodah):
Since Jews do not mention Rosh Chodesh on Rosh Hashanah, the Satan does not feel on Rosh Hashanah the awakening and Avodah of Rosh Chodesh – “he does not know that the day is Rosh Chodesh”;
And this is also the reason that “we begin to read (Parshat) Bereshit on Simchat Torah in order that it should not be known whether it is the beginning of the year etc” – Since Yidden do not actually begin to read “(Parshat) Bereshit” on Rosh Hashanah, he will think that the Avodah of the beginning of the year is lacking the aspect and action which is connected with the completion and beginning of the Torah – “it is not known whether it is the beginning of the year etc” –
This confuses the Satan, and “he will not come to accuse”. Because if we merited, as above, - their (the Yidden’s) main Avodah would be so complete and lofty, that they would not need to rely on the additional awakening of Rosh Chodesh and the “completion of the Torah” and its beginning; They have already (in any event) been vindicated in judgment.
6. This explanation, however, is not completely accurate:
According to this explanation it follows, that by not mentioning Rosh Chodesh (and by not beginning to read (Parshat) Bereshit) it will only accomplish confusing the Satan; But the cause of his lacking (or weak) accusing (and “he will not come to accuse”) mainly is because he thinks that the Avodah of Rosh Hashanah is already complete and that we do not need to rely on these aforementioned (merits) –
Accordingly, it should have stressed (not only the negative side, the “he does not know” of Rosh Chodesh etc., but, at the very least, also) the positive part (the Avodah – resembling the Avodah of Rosh Hashanah) in the aspect.
From the plain text: “we do not explicitly mention Rosh Chodesh on Rosh Hashanah . . . to confuse the Satan, so that he should not know that today is Rosh Chodesh Tishrei (and that he will not accuse)” implies, that the cause of “he will not accuse” is also because “he should not know that today is Rosh Chodesh Tishrei”
[And it is not similar to the aspect of ‘“we do not blow (Shofar) on Erev Rosh Hashanah, because then the Satan would reason that the Day of Judgment has passed” – because the wording itself (we do not blow (Shofar) on Erev Rosh Hashanah) stresses that before (Erev Rosh Hashanah) we do blow, and because of this (the Shofar blowing of the month of Elul) it is “the Day of Judgment has passed”)
7. One could say, that in these two aspects (not mentioning Rosh Chodesh in conjunction with Rosh Hashanah and “beginning to read (Parshat) Bereshit on Simchat Torah”) Is (symbolized) the concept of “confusing the Satan):
When the Satan sees, that on the day of Rosh Hashanah, the Yidden lack the mentioning, and consequently, the awakening, of Rosh Chodesh, And similarly, the advantage of the completion of the Torah and its beginning, it causes a weakness in his accusing – for he thinks, that the Yidden’s Avodah is lacking and therefore he does not need to exert himself to find additional faults of Yidden.
And even though the Satan knows well - that we are doing this because we are targeting him in order to confuse him – nevertheless – in actuality we are lacking the awakening and merit (with all the outcome that this brings); We do not have the awakening etc. of Rosh Chodesh and we do not have the completion of the Torah and its beginning!
8. According to this, however, there is a question on the opposite side:
How is it possible, that Yidden should actually do all this? True, there is effected the intent of “confusing the Satan” – But. as above: at the very end, the Yidden miss out on that day (those days) the Avodahs: the awakening of Shofar blowing on Erev Rosh Hashanah, the awakening of Rosh Chodesh, and the aspect of the completion of the Torah and the beginning of Torah!!
The explanation is:
This itself, that one refrains from these things in order to “confuse the Satan”, must and (does) bring a deeper awakening of Teshuvah, than that which is achieved through (fulfilling) the above mentioned things.
The awakening of Teshuvah in a manner of a “voice that emanates from the inner depths of the heart” is evoked “through the bitterness of one’s soul that is distanced from HaShem which is utterly far from him”
And this bitterness “of his distance from HaShem” is felt by a Jew in a very strong manner – through his contemplating, that these aforementioned good things are being withheld from him, (just) in order “ to confuse the Satan”. He feels his situation, that the Satan has such a power against him, that that we must, because of it, take away an aspect of Shofar blowing, mentioning Rosh Chodesh and reading Parshat Bereshit (on Rosh Hashanah)
And additionally, in some part, the awakening of Teshuvah is deeper that that which is achieved through Shofar blowing etc:
The awakening of Teshuvah from Shofar blowing comes about from a thing which is external to him (and so too, the reading of Parshat Bereshit, and mentioning Rosh Chodesh);
But the awakening of Teshuvah which comes from the “Not” - which one is withholding from oneself, an aspect of Shofar blowing etc., – that is being taken from himself alone, from his situation etc. -
And one could say, that it is like the story from Chassidim about the Rebbe Rashab (in the beginning of his leadership):
A Jew came for Yechidus (a private audience) to the Rebbe Rashab and requested a blessing in a serious matter, which required a great arousal of (heavenly) mercy. But the Rebbe answered, that he could not help him in this regard.
After hearing such an answer, the Jew came out of the Rebbe’s room and cried with bitter tears. Walking inconsolably, he met the Raza (R' Shneur Zalman Aharon - the brother of the Rebbe) and upon his asking him why he was crying so strongly, told him what happened and what the Rebbe answered him.
The Raza came to his brother, the Rebbe (and as mentioned, this was in the beginning of his leadership) and said to him: “How can this be?” (Hayetachon) – “that when someone comes to you requesting a blessing, that you say that you can’t help him, so much so, that the requestor cries copious tears from anguish!”
The Rebbe put on his gartel (sash) and instructed that the Yid should come back in to him - and when he entered, the Rebbe blessed him and the blessing was fulfilled in actuality.
At first glance, we need to understand:
If the Rebbe was able to help him (as is apparent from the end of the story), why did he initially not do so, and moreover, answer him in a way that brought him to tears etc?
But the explanation of this (possibly) is like the aforementioned:
The Jew, who requested the Rebbe’s blessing, was at that time, due to spiritual status, not prepared, not able, to receive such a great blessing which the situation required – he was not a receptacle for it, And therefore he could not be helped.
But the answer of the Rebbe produced a broken-heartedness in that Jew and he opened his heart to HaShem – this caused him to be like a new entity, a receptacle to G-d’s blessing through the Rebbe.
9. A deeper aspect to this:
Not only is this an aspect which evokes a deeper awakening of Teshuvah, but, at the core of the issue, the advantages of the things are also not lacking, in actuality.
That which we withhold him from the things, is a Minhag Yisroel, which is Torah – it becomes an aspect of keeping (actuating) the Torah which one does with great happiness.
When keeping Torah is only because of reason and intellect, or because he has a delight in it – then there is a place to differentiate, that one may not have such an exuberance in (a custom which is) “Shlilah” (a negative action, or one that requires inaction) – than if it is an aspect of (positive) action.
[And this is the reasoning of the Satan – that at the very end, the Avodah of Bnei Yisroel will be actually lacking – And specifically since one could say that he has no knowledge of the inner voice, and even regarding thought (Machshava) - there are also levels to thought]
But the truth of the matter, from the desire of the King, there is no difference between one Avodah to another.
When a Jew keeps Mitzvot because “He sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us” – for him there is no difference (what the commandment is)
Even when it looks like he is losing a good thing, nevertheless, since he knows that this, itself, “is Torah” - he does this with great happiness and good heartedness.
And this itself brings a K’siva Va’Chasima Tovah, l’Shana Tova u’Mesuka l’Mata m’Asarah tefachim, b’Gashmius uv’Ruchnus gam yachad, (a New Year inscribed and sealed for Good, a good, sweet New Year, in this world (below ten handbreadths), in physical and spiritual matters harmoniously together)
(M’Sichas Yom Simchat Torah
And Motzai Shabbat Bereshit 5739)
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