Wednesday, September 28, 2011

last minute dvar Torah for the table tonight

I just heard a nice dvar Torah from a friend and thought I would quickly post it before Rosh Hashana.

Why do we eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashana?

The Maharil says it reminds of of a midrash that says that when Yaakov disguised himself as his brother Esav and stood before his father Yitzchak, Yitzchak smelled Yaakov and the midrash says that Yaakov smelled like an apple orchard.

Why an apple orchard?  that is a subject for a future blog post maybe.  But the maharil says that on Rosh Hashana we want to remember that episode in Jewish history because it should conger up a certain mood.

Yaakov was very nervous when he stood before his father.  His purpose was to show his father that he was worthy of a brachah.  He feared that his father would examine him carefully and would discover that the clothes that he donned for the occasion was just a disguise but in reality he was a different person.

This is us on Rosh Hashana.  We are standing before our Father in Heaven.  Before we do we have to carefully examine ourselves.  We must be sure that the appearance that we present on Rosh Hashana is not a disguise, rather it is the standard of conduct that we set for ourselves for the rest of the year.

I have my own idea for the honey.
Honey comes from bees which are not kosher and honey, it would seem should be treif.  Yet for some reason it is kosher.  So honey is a plea that even if we do not meet the standard and perhaps we should be marked treif, Hashem should view us as if we are kosher and inscribe us all in the book of life.

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