Reality of Realities
Everybody knows that there are tens days of repentance that beginning form the first two days of Rosh HaShana and concluding with the Yom Kippur! We might wonder aloud, if that’s allowed, why there are exactly ten days set aside for this process!?
The Sefas Emes makes a genius connection that brings new light and dimension to these awesome days! The ten days of Teshuvah correspond to the Ten Commandments. So what does that mean? How does that help?
The first two of the Ten Commandments were the only ones we, the Jewish Nation, heard directly from HASHEM. Therefore it is no mistake that the first two days of Tishrei, Rosh HaShana are wedded together as one.
When we look at what is commonly called the Ten Commandments, the first commandment, so to speak, does not bear any of the markings of a typical command. The words, “I am HASHEM Who took you out of the Land of Egypt from the house of bondage” does not compel anyone to do anything. It is more a declaration of fact! How can it be counted as a Mitzvah?
Moving seamlessly from the sublime to the ridiculous, it was told that Groucho Marx was invited to tour a wildly expensive mansion of some Hollywood celeb. As Groucho was led from one magnificent room to another, to the dismay of his host, he kept that same wry expression on his face, showing no overt signs of being impressed. In desperation the host threw open the back-bay doors and there was the Pacific Ocean lapping the sand just a few feet from the villa. The host said to Groucho, “You know the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, and location. Even if you’re not impressed with my house you have to admit that this is a great location with the Pacific Ocean literally within reach.” To which Groucho, after tapping the ashes on his cigar replied in his typical sardonic tone, “Take way the ocean and what have you got?”
Obviously the ocean is going nowhere! It’s a fixture! The three most important features are location, location, location. So King David states, “Being close to G-d is what’s good for me!” Take away HASHEM though and what have you got? How absurd! One of the names we use to refer to HASHEM is MAKOM-literally, place. HASHEM is the location of existence. Closeness to HASHEM is everything!
It’s more reality than any ocean or notion our minds can conjure. We are within HASHEM’s world! HASHEM is not a product of our imagination. HASHEM is not in need our believing in Him. We are need of believing in Him. He doesn’t have to prove Himself or His existence to us! We have to demonstrate the significance of existence to Him. That’s all that matters ultimately! HASHEM is reality!
On Rosh HaShana we are intersecting the very same time in history, that 6th Day of creation, when The Almighty breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of humanity. That might account for all the blowing on the day. We are refueling, a rich infusion of G-dliness. On Rosh Hashana the operative word is HaMelech, The King! We are coming to terms with, accepting, embracing, and reveling in this most important reality of realities!