- Neshama Staff
Our Sages described our judgement on the day of Rosh Hashanah as one so scrupulous that it's as if each member of the Jewish nation is passed before G-d as each sheep is passed before its shepherd. As Rosh Hashanah marks the new year for the Jewish calendar, it has been established as our Day of Judgement. A judgement so integral to our lives, as the judgement on this day determines the fate of the upcoming year.
The question though arises, if Rosh Hashanah is a day of judgement, then why would it be placed in the beginning of the year? It would seem to be more appropriately placed at the close of the year, where all deeds can be judged and either rewarded or punished for. Thus, the coming year can be a fresh new start.
Rav Wolbe in his Sefer Alei Shur answers that really, Rosh Hashanah is a day of judgement on our present standings, as opposed to our past. We are judged on who we are at that point in time, and therefore it makes sense that Rosh Hashanah should be the first day of the year, not the last. Since it is not merely a recounting of what each person did throughout the course of the past year, rather a checkup on who you are now, it makes sense that at the start of the year, where a person's plans, commitments, and accomplishments will play a role in the fate of the coming year.
As this fateful Day of Judgement slowly approaches, we must take a minute to reconsider our commitments and plans, as that is what we are going to be judged on, assuming we follow through with our plans. Unlike this world, where we can make mistakes, yet through the process of repentance we can earn forgiveness, in the next world, whatever we have done is locked in. This being the case, each person should reflect on how they are to be treated upon the Ultimate Day of Judgement, that being the day of death. A proper Jewish burial is integral to preserving Jewish tradition, as well as to receiving a favorable judgement in the World to Come.
Join The Neshama Foundation as it strives towards preserving the Jewish nation's most precious asset - tradition. By committing to follow the Jewish rituals pertaining to burial, you are assuring yourself a more favorable judgement both on this coming day of Rosh Hashanah, as well as the dreaded day of passing.