Special Rosh Hashanah study by Rabbi Avraham Brandwein ZT”L
Daily Zohar 1196
Zohar Pinchas, Vol. 20 (English)/Vol 15 (Hebrew)
357. וְעוֹד, לֹא עוֹזֵב לַמְקַטְרֵג לְלַמֵּד עָלָיו חוֹב וּמוּם. שֶׁבֶּן אָדָם יַקְדִּים וְיֹאמַר, וְלֹא יִתֵּן מָקוֹם לְאַחֵר לוֹמַר, וְאָז הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מוֹחֵל לוֹ. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב (משלי כח) וּמוֹדֶה וְעוֹזֵב יְרוּחָם.
358. בִּימֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה מְתַקְּנִים בֵּית דִּין כִּסֵּא לַמֶּלֶךְ לָדוּן אֶת כָּל הָעוֹלָם, וְיִשְׂרָאֵל נִכְנָסִים בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה בַּדִּין לְפָנָיו, שֶׁיִּרְבּוּ הָרַחֲמִים. (לִפְנֵי שֶׁיִּרְבֶּה הָרֹגֶז). לָמַדְנוּ, וּמִשְׁפַּט עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל דְּבַר יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ. יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ מַה הוּא? אֶלָּא אֵלּוּ שְׁנֵי יָמִים שֶׁל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה. מַדּוּעַ שְׁנֵי יָמִים? מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהֵם שְׁנֵי בָּתֵּי דִין שֶׁמִּתְחַבְּרִים כְּאֶחָד. דִּין עֶלְיוֹן, שֶׁהוּא קָשֶׁה, בְּדִין תַּחְתּוֹן, שֶׁהוּא רָפֶה, וּשְׁנֵיהֶם נִמְצָאִים.
I’m in close relationship with the Brandwein family in Israel and they send me studies and commentaries made by Rabbi Avraham Brandwein ZT”L (View the link for more information), who was the son of Rabbi Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein ZT”L, the student of Rabbi Ashlag, ‘Baal HaSulam’.
I am sharing one of his great studies he made on Rosh Hashanah seven years ago.
The Zohar paragraphs above are related to this study and by me to support the study below.
The Talmud teaches that the world is judged four times during the year. On Passover the crop of the field (wheat) are judged, on Shavuot the fruit of the tree and on Sukkot the water. About Rosh Hashanah it doesn’t say that the world is judged but “the entire world passes in front of him as in a parade”.
We can ask here two questions: the first one is why Rosh Hashanah is different, when we expect to read ‘judged’ and not ‘passing in front of him…’. The Talmud follows with explanation that all are ‘scanned’ at once as it says in Psalms 33:15
“הַיֹּצֵר יַחַד לִבָּם; הַמֵּבִין, אֶל-כָּל-מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם”
“He that fashioneth the hearts of them all, that considereth all their doings”
The second question is how it is possible to scan billions of humans in one scan?
The answer to the two questions is that there’s a difference between inanimate, vegetation and living. We learn from Malachi 3:6 “כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה, לֹא שָׁנִיתִי” “for I YHVH change not”, that the Light of the Holy One Blessed be He is always present. If the Light is always ‘on’ then why we are in הסתר פנים concealed state? The answer is as the prophet Isaiah says (Isaiah 59:2)
“כִּי אִם-עֲוֹנֹתֵיכֶם, הָיוּ מַבְדִּלִים, בֵּינֵכֶם, לְבֵין אֱלֹהֵיכֶם; וְחַטֹּאותֵיכֶם, הִסְתִּירוּ פָנִים מִכֶּם–מִשְּׁמוֹעַ”
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
That means that we don’t let the Light to dwell in us. If our heart, which is the place of our desires, was pure and vacant for the Light then it would be filled immediately with Light. There’s no need for the Light to change for us because when the vessel is ready then the Light is already there.
We understand that on Rosh Hashanah, the Holy One Blessed be He, reveals his Light. The Light is the same for everyone in the world.
From our daily prayer:
“הַמֵּאִיר לָאָרֶץ וְלַדָּרִים עָלֶיהָ בְּרַחֲמִים” “..that shines his Light on earth and those who dwell on it with mercy”
Those who have their heart ready will receive the Light, and not for those who are not ready.
The wheat, water, and fruits don’t have free choice and they are ‘judged’ in a simple way, how good and plenty will they be. But for people, the judgment is that the Holy One shines his Light and those with the ready heart receive the Light immediately. It says that righteous are inscribed immediately to good life. The wicked are far from the Light and can not receive the Light like righteous ones.
When the Holy One sees/scans the people he sustains them. It the story of Creation it says “And God saw the light, that it was good”. Seeing by God brings life to us and the verse “הַיֹּצֵר יַחַד לִבָּם; הַמֵּבִין, אֶל-כָּל-מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם”
“He that fashioneth the hearts of them all, that considereth all their doings” explains that each one is judged according to his vessel.
As preparation for Rosh Hashanah and receiving the Light of the Creator we read every day from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Hoshana Raba Psalms 27
“לְדָוִד: יְהוָה, אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי–מִמִּי אִירָא;
יְהוָה מָעוֹז-חַיַּי, מִמִּי אֶפְחָד”
“of David. YHVH is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? ”
I brought here the main point from the study by Rabbi Avraham Brandwein ZT”L. In addition he talks about the importance of the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur to make Teshuvah , repentance, to cleanse the soul. I would add that the Kabbalists teach us that the Zohar and especially the Tikunei Zohar, during this period are important tools to help us cleanse the soul and be pure and ready for the main ‘scan’.
If you don’t have the Tikunei Zohar books then use UnityZohar.com and or Unity Zohar App (iOS and Android) to read and scan in unity. After all we want to be as pure as possible during God’s scan.
Tikunei Zohar is 70 special studies by Rabbi Shimon on the first word of the Torah. “In The Beginning”, “בראשית”, connecting us to the 70 inner levels of the Torah and ‘washing’ our souls with it.
Those who are connected and study the Daily Zohar and those who scan Zohar on a daily basis with pure desires for the Light are most likely to have a vessel ready for the ‘Light’ scan.
With love to all and blessings for Shanah Tova and Chatima Tova.
The original Hebrew article by Rabbi Avraham Brandwein from year 5770