חזרה לדף הבית מתן
 
 
Zichronot: Retrospective or Introspective?
Rabbanit Malke Bina


The Edythe Benjamin חיה בת שלמה
beloved mother of Barbara Hanus
Rosh Hodesh Tishrei Torah Essay


Zichronot: Retrospective or Introspective?
Tishrei
 5778

 

Rabbanit Malke Bina Chancellor and Director of Matan; winner of Hadassah Prize; Honorary Doctorate from Yeshiva University; Emunah Woman of the Year; Nefesh B'Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize; Teacher of Talmud; First to create a women's Beit Midrash promoting active and intensive Torah learning. Wife of Rav Aharon Bina, Rosh Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh and a proud mother and grandmother.

 

Zichronot: Retrospective or Introspective?

Rosh Hashanah is a time dedicated to prayer when the Almighty makes Himself accessible to us and we express our devotion to Him through our tefillot. At the heart of the Rosh Hashanah service is the recitation in the Musaf Shemoneh Esrei of the verses of ,מלכיות זכרונות ושופרות - Kingship, Remembrances and Shofar blasts, interspersed with the blowing of the Shofar.  Our sages teach us that G-d Himself commanded us to say מלכיות, זכרונות ושופרות:

אמר רבה אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא: אמרו לפני בראש השנה מלכיות זכרונות ושופרות. מלכיות כדי שתמליכוני עליכם, זכרונות כדי שיבא לפני זכרוניכם לטובה. ובמה? בשופר."
(Gemara Rosh Hashanah, 34b) 

G-d explains that we recite the verses of Kingship accepting His Kingdom upon ourselves, and the verses of Zichronot, which are nestled between the life-giving power of the King and the sound of the shofar, so that He will remember us positively.  This is accomplished through the sounds and symbolism of the shofar. 

In both the Malchiyot and Shofrot sections of the tefillah, it is clear that each individual standing in prayer has an active role to play.  In Malchiyot, we focus on the existence of G-d and acknowledge His role as the omnipotent creator and sustainer of the world; we coronate G-d and accept His sovereignty.  For Shofrot, we are required to sound the blasts of the shofar and listen attentively to its call for repentance.  Its piercing tones reenact the blowing of the shofar at Har Sinai.  It is through the experience of the shofar that we are able to crown G-d as King; we are inspired to rededicate ourselves to Jewish life.

 

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