Rabbi Dovid Saks
Rosh Hashana 5772 "Internal Peace Plan"
The following thought occurred to me the other day. We pray, hope and yearn for peace; peace at home, peace amongst family and friends, peace in the community, peace in our country, peace to reign in the entire world and of course peace in the Land of Israel.
Yes, it’s an enormous entreaty, request and appeal, and we may wonder, is it at all possible to achieve?
How about doing our part and aiming for the following:
The Talmud teaches us that when one has a personal need, and he prays on behalf of his fellow who has that same need, G-d answers the petitioner first!
On Rosh Hashana we all stand in Judgment. The books of life and death are open and we all beseech and plead to be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Generally speaking one associates with and embraces people who share a common outlook, having the same religious beliefs and similar political associations.
Here is the idea: Chose someone who is different than you, who you would not want to associate with based on conflicting interests or beliefs, and include them in your prayers - that they be inscribed for life.
Aside from having the benefit of praying for others, we also display to G-d in the privacy of our thoughts that we are united and that an internal peace exists between us! Perhaps through this exercise we can activate an element of peace on a larger and even global scale.
Our Sages teach us that the entire unit of the Jewish people is analogous to a human body. Just as when a part of the body hurts, the entire body feels signals of pain, so too, when even one Jew is hurting, grieving or faced with hardships, even in a remote area of the world, the rest of the ‘body’ of Jews feels the pain as well. This is unique among us, for we are essentially, one unit.
I came across an additional insight into this idea: Our Kabalistic Masters explain that the Torah concept which classifies us as responsible for one another, and fundamentally makes us into one unit, places an additional challenge and responsibility upon us. That is that each Jew, as an essential part of the ‘body’ which represents all Jews, not only has a personal responsibility to fulfill his spiritual responsibilities, obligations and Mitzvos stated in the Torah, he also has to consider the effect of the level of his commitment and faithfulness vis-ŕ-vis the sound and solid functionality of the unit, the ‘body’ of the totality of the Jewish people.
Our Kabalistic Masters explain further: Just as we understand that the unit of the Jewish people is compared to a body, so too, all the nations of the world are modeled into one body as well.
The most vital organ of the body is the heart. When the heart beats with the correct rhythm and flow, all the organs, extremities and limbs of the body can function properly.
The Jewish nation’s organ in the ‘body’ of all nations is the heart. That means when we show our commitment to G-d, his Torah and Mitzvos, and are sensitive to the laws concerning our fellow, our spiritual heartbeat is strong and it translates into positive spiritual energy that is pumped into the nations of the world, which promotes and elevates them to opt and select a peaceful and calm attitude and approach to matters concerning the Jewish nation.
Rosh Hashana is when we pray that G-d implement this idyllic and tranquil time in the world, which we most desperately need!
There was a king who had a very dear friend who was also his closest advisor. The king’s admiration for this friend knew no bounds. Whatever he would petition for or ask of the king, he would accede to.
One of the many talents of this friend was playing a musical instrument. From time to time he would entertain the king with his beautiful musical compositions.
Eventually the king’s friend passed away leaving behind a son who was not as capable as his father. The king, out of his deep love for his friend, took the son under his wing. However, the son did not know how to honor and respect the king and continuously disgraced him.