In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2004 / 29 Elul, 5764

Rosh Hashanah: Who's Judging?

By Rabbi David Aaron

On Judgment Day we tell the Creator to ‘bring it on’ — why?

https://www.jewishworldreview.com | The oral tradition teaches that when we blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah the King, Who is sitting sternly on His throne of judgment, suddenly gets up and takes the seat of compassion. Suddenly, the whole nature of the day changes when we blow the shofar. With just a blast of the shofar the day is transformed from a day of judgment to compassion. How do we toot our way out of this frightening trial? By accepting it and embracing it.

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

When we blow the shofar we are, so to speak, signaling G-d to judge us. Nowadays, when there's a court case and the judge wants to bring the court to order, he bangs a gavel to commence the trial session. But in the olden days the trial began with a blast of a shofar.

Now imagine you are summoned to stand trial before the King to be judged for your deeds of the entire last year. You are trembling, frightened, overwhelmed. Nonetheless, to everyone's surprise, you enter the court with excitement and joy. You confidently walk up to the judge's desk, grab the shofar and blow it. Everyone is absolutely shocked. You not only do not evade the trial, or deny the charges; you actually invite the judgment and anxiously announce "this is my day of judgment. I want no delay. Go ahead — judge me now."

In other words, when we blow the shofar we initiate the judgment. We are saying we want to be judged and we are not in the least afraid of the outcome. We joyfully accept the judgment and embrace it with love. How could this be?

Most people are either in denial of judgment or spend much effort evading it. January 1, the secular New Year, is also viewed by many as a day of judgment and personal evaluation. People often make resolutions for improvement in the coming year. However, that day has also become a time to get drunk. People make resolutions and then get smashed. I can understand why. Judgment is so painful, frightening and challenging. It is natural to just want to get drunk, run away, avoid and deny it.

The Psalms teaches, "Happy are those who know the secret of the blast of the shofar." What is the big secret? Couldn't anybody figure out how to blow a shofar? The real secret of blowing the shofar is to know that when you lovingly accept and embrace judgment it transforms into compassion. This is because you realize that the One who is judging you is not only your King but also your Father, as the saying goes in Hebrew — Avinu Malkeinu — our Father is our King. He is judging you not because He is insulted by your behavior — you get on His nerves — so He wants to get back at you and slap you out. He is judging you because He loves you and cares about you. When you don't understand who is judging and for what purpose then you will naturally run from it. But when you understand that your Father is the Judge and all He wants is the best for you then you will lovingly embrace a day of judgment as an opportunity for change and growth.

If we deny our mistakes and avoid paying the consequences then we continue to make them and continue to hurt ourselves. I would rather be living in reality than denying it and living in illusions. When we transgress the mitzvas, our religious duties, we forfeit our mission to build G-d's kingdom on Earth and we ultimately cause harm to ourselves.

Our neglect to obey G-d's will becomes the source of our own personal destruction.

Donate to JWR

Therefore, we tremble with joy on Rosh Hashanah because we joyously accept the judgment. We understand the true meaning of judgment and we know that the Judge is our Father and He loves us. We know that no matter how harsh is the sentence that He decrees upon us it is exactly what we need to get in line, back on track, to fulfill our life mission.

Carl Jung once said that neurosis is a substitute for legitimate suffering. In other words, when we deny our suffering we end up suffering in other ways and cause ourselves more harm. I would say the same principle applies when we deny judgment and are not willing to accept the consequence of our behavior.

When we do that, we continue to hold onto the illusion that we are self-defined, existing independent of G-d, and this attitude generates feelings of alienation from the true ground, source, context and essence of our self, which is G-d. The feeling of alienation from G-d, Who is the source of all life and all pleasure, is the cause of all pain and sickness both physically and spiritually.

When we accept judgment then we no longer need it. The very acceptance of the judgment fixes the cause of all our mistakes and sins because we realize that we are not independent of G-d and unaccountable. G-d does not need to decree upon us any corrective consequences to get us back on track because when we lovingly accept judgment we put ourselves back on track. We have learned our lesson.

Therefore, the Judge gets up from His throne of judgment and sits on the throne of compassion.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

To comment, please click here.

Rabbi David Aaron is the founder and dean of Isralight, an international organization with programming in Israel, New York South Florida, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Toronto. He has taught and inspired thousands of Jews who are seeking meaning in their lives and a positive connection to their Jewish roots.

He is the author of the newly released, The Secret Life of G-d, and also the author of Endless Light, Seeing G-d and Love is my religion. (Click on link to purchase books. Sales help fund JWR.) He lives in the old City of Jerusalem with his wife and their seven children.

© 2004, Rabbi David Aaron