Today's Date: Sat August 18, 2018 | יום שבת שופטים, ז אלול תשע"ח

Rosh Hashanah - When Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbos



The first Mishna in Tractate Rosh Hashanah begins, “When the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbos…”


The holy Rebbe of Barditchev, the Kedushas Levi, asks, “Why does the Mishna say ‘the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashanah?’ It could have said simply, ‘When Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbos…’”


The Kedushas Levi explains that when Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbos we have a special reason to celebrate; there is a new joyous element to this Yom Tov. As we know, it is forbidden to write on Shabbos. The only time a person may write on Shabbos, or do any of the other forbidden forms of work, is when the action is needed to preserve a life (pikuach nefesh). When a life is in danger, everything possible must be done to save the person, including violating the Shabbos. In fact, not only is one permitted to violate Shabbos on the endangered person’s behalf, but he is obligated to do so, and every moment wasted is a grave responsibility.


“Hashem keeps the entire Torah.” (Yerushalmi, Rosh Hashanah 7b) Hashem also keeps the Shabbos, so to speak, and He therefore doesn’t write on Shabbos. On Rosh Hashanah, Hashem judges every person and writes down their judgment. When Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbos, Hashem refrains from writing, except when it is pikuach nefesh – that is, to inscribe the Jewish people in the Book of Life. When Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbos, Hashem doesn’t write any negative judgments, and therefore it is a special Yom Tov.


Another reason why Rosh Hashanah is a special Yom Tov when it comes out on Shabbos is because on Shabbos the Forces of Evil have no power. Shabbos is a day of Divine mercy, when Hashem has special compassion for the Jewish people. We therefore have a better chance of being judged with compassion when Rosh Hashanah comes out on Shabbos.


Furthermore, the Gemara says that Shabbos has the power to bring a refuah to those who are sick (Shabbos 12a). When using a play on the words of the Gemara, it translates as “Shabbos screams and brings the refuah.” This could mean that during the week, if a person is in need of a recovery, he has to cry out to Hashem. But on Shabbos, the power of this holy day is greater than our crying; the day itself screams to Hashem for a recovery.


This may be the reason why we do not blow the shofar when Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbos. On Shabbos, we do not need the cry of the shofar to pierce the Heavens. The day itself has the power to evoke Hashem’s compassion and bring us a favorable judgment.


May all of Klal Yisroel be inscribed for a sweet year, full of blessings and yeshuos, and may we finally merit the geulah sheleima, Amen.

This Weeks Divrei Torah is dedicated in honor of:
Shmuel ben Chaim
Feinberg A"H
5708-5769 9 Shvat

This Weeks Divrei Torah is dedicated in honor of:

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