The Jewish Eye
Elul - Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's Simple Secret To A Great Year
The Mishna says in Rosh Hashana that there are four judgment days in each year; Pesach, Shavuos, Rosh Hashana, and Succos. The gemara explains that each day has a related Korban to help achieve a good judgment. On Pesach Hashem judges the grain in the field therefore in his kindness he gave us the mitzva of Korban Omer in order that with this mitzva of sacrificing the grain, Hashem will judge the grain favorably and bless us with an abundant crop. On Shavuos when Hashem judges the fruits of the tree we bring Bikurim, the first fruits, as a present to the Kohen in the Bais HaMikdash. On Succos it's time to judge the winter rain so we pour water on the Mizbei'ach.
What about Rosh Hashana when Hashem judges people, what Korban do we bring to assure a good year? Rav Shlomo Zalman answers that for the Korban of Rosh Hashana, Chazal point out that the Torah says "Va'Asisem Olah" you should make a Korban Olah, instead of the more typically used word "V'Hikravtem" you should sacrifice. The mefarshim say that this means that each person should make himself the Korban. How does one make himself a Korban? Rav Sholomo Zalman says by voluntarily standing before Hashem and subjecting ourselves to the judgment for the upcoming year we are accepting Hashem as our King. If we stand there in fear and awe understanding that everything hinges on these few moment in Shul and believe this with our whole heart we have sacrificed ourselves to the King of all Kings. If we bring this Korban we will be assured of having a great year! (Shalmei Moed)
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