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Using Subtlety in our Rosh Hashana Greetings

on Tuesday, September 23 2014. Posted by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg

Among the truly sweet things about the New Year are the heartwarming greetings and salutations being exchanged everywhere. It is heartening to have our mailboxes filled with Rosh Hashana cards, our inboxes filled with Rosh Hashana emails, and our Facebook timelines filled with Rosh Hashana wishes and blessings, even if they are not as personal and direct as when offered face to face.

The typical greeting includes a prayer that the year ahead be better than the previous one and that, in the words of our Rabbis, tichle ha’shana v’kileloseha, may the past year and its misfortune be behind us.

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l makes a critically important point. While there are aspects and events of the past year for each of us that we wish didn’t happen, it is simply ungrateful and unappreciative to the Almighty to suggest in the slightest that there was nothing good about the previous year. Instead, he suggests, we should be careful in our greeting to specifically thank Hashem for the blessings of the past year and only then pray that the year ahead be even better.

Rav Shlomo Zalman’s insight is subtle, but yet so important in reminding us that while Rosh Hashana is a time to identify what went wrong the previous year and look ahead to a wonderful year to come, it is also a time to recognize the goodness and kindness Hashem has shown us and express our endless gratitude for it.

With that in mind, I want to thank the Ribono Shel Olam for all the kindness He has shown us this past year and wish all of us a year ahead of even greater heath, happiness, prosperity, personal growth, and peace in our homes, Israel and around the world.

Kesiva v’chasima tova!!

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