Rosh HaShannah

apples and honey,
sweeten the New Year’s advent;
Rosh HaShannah bliss.

As Rosh HaShannah, the New Year on the Hebrew calendar approaches, I prepare my soul, so that I might be able to stand before the King on Judgment Day. Selichos (the penitential prayers) have already begun; these prayers will continue, until the eve of the Day of Judgment, when all the world is judged, and decrees are made for the New Year. Yet, charity, prayer, and repentance have the effect of lessening the severity of any negative decrees placed upon us.

The two days of Rosh HaShannah are said, according to the Zohar, to symbolically represent a day of judgment, and a day of mercy, resting upon G-d’s attributes of both justice and mercy. Because the world could not survive upon being judged without mercy. Justice alone would bring harsh condemnation upon all the earth, for no one is able to sincerely live 100% by G-d’s standard; everyone falls short of the mark to varying degrees, because of our “human nature,” as some say, inherited by Adam and Eve, who disobeyed G-d, even while living in Gan Eden (Paradise). So, mercy has a sweetening effect upon our judgment, so that we can be reconciled to G-d.