Friday, September 08, 2006

takanas ezra to read the tochacha before rosh hashana - sweeping out the old year's curses

The gemara (Megila 31b) tells us that Ezra made a takanah that the parsha of tochacha be read before Rosh haShana so that “tichleh shana v’kililoseha”, the year and its curses should come to completion. But, as anyone with a calendar can see, this is not the Shabbos immediately before R”H? Tosfos answers: 1) Parshas Nitzavim also contains kelalos; or 2) we do not want to close out the old year and enter the new on a completely bad note so we break for the positive note of Parshas Nitzavim. For those who want a head start thinking about next week’s parsha, it seems that these two views reflect two different layers of meaning that can be found in the parsha. The Radomsker in Tiferes Shlomo explains that the takanas Ezra to read the tochacha is a kiyum of “u’neshalma parim sefaseinu”, our tefilos are a substitute for actual experience – in the event that we have not had our share of kelalos during the year, we read the parsha as a substitute. What bothers me is if this were true why not read the tochacha immediatly after Rosh haShana and avoid any experience of kelala during the year to begin with?!
The Minchas Eluzar (Munkatch) explains the word “tichleh” as similar to “kalsa nafshi” – to desire. “Tichleh shanah v’kililoseha, tachel shanah u’birchoseha” – the desire of the old year itself and its kelalos is that they should be removed and replaced by the New Year and its brachos, KY”R

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:21 AM

    What a beautiful vort. In essence, the kelalos themselves are unhappy with their task and desire to be replaced with brochos. Yasher Koach R' Chaim!