Rov Doniel Katz on Rosh Hashana and Shofar – from notes

Rosh Hashana- Rabbi Doniel Katz  His video is findable on Facebook on his profile Doniel Katz


We are about to approach 5777 since creation. This is a time of tremendous cheshbon hanefesh- self reflection.


Adam, human beings, the soul of humanity, was created on the sixth day of creation- the day of Rosh Hashana (RH). According to the Shela (famous mystic) it is interesting to note RH is celebrated, not because it was the day man was created, but because it was the day that man sinned.


Adam was the neshama klalis, the combined consciousness of all humanity (of both male and female). On that day of RH, he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and by that he cut his consciousness off from consciousness of the “ohr haganuz”- the hidden light from which man could see from one side of the universe to the other. Mystics say that means there was nothing blocking- all was transparent (the world and humans were transparent) before adam sinned. Before Adam sinned, the world was a combination of both trees- the Eitz hadaas and the eitz hachayim. Briefly, mystics teach that actually the eitz chayim was in the center of the garden and tree of knowledge of good and evil was what surrounded it – but there are deep ideas. It was not physical separate trees and they were not physical people (important to note). This is talking about  high refined states of consciousness before there was even a physical reality to conceal, to cut us off, to disconnect from spiritual awareness. That means there was a physical world but it was incandescent, it radiated the spiritual light. All you would engage would be a completely transparent and  radiated its divine essence and true purpose of divine revelation and all you experienced in life was seeing how it all came together in divine revelation.


When we ate from the tree of good and evil and consumed the external element- on a superficial level, consuming means the food becomes the being that consumes it (Rebbe Nachman). Rebbe Nachman teaches clearly. We can see in science too- The food actually integrates into your body- the energy, matter, and particles becomes the person that eats it.


When we ate from the eitz hadaas tov vara which means the tree that combines good and evil into one consciousness that become our consciousness- this is the normal human consciousness that we live in now. So the challenge is that we look at the world and we cant see revelation, and we cannot see truth bc the world is in a fallen state. Comes Rosh Hashana and we come back to the time when Adam harishon (the primordial human consciousness) originally disconnected his own self from higher revelation. And bc the physical world is bound to the consciousness of humanity, when we disconnect ourselves from higher revealed consciousness then the world itself fell and disconnected from revealing diving consciousness. It lowered the world into a world where positivity and negativity are combined together and we are confused, identify with this world and cant see the light of revelation.
Vilna Gaon, many chassidic sources and Ramchal: through dveikus we can shift our consciousness back into that space, back into the awareness of the unification of everything. We don’t lose it altogether, but we lost normal, everyday access to it. In elevation, (and many Torah mystical paths teach this in different ways) through shifting our consciousness, middos and actions we can begin! This is the singular goal of Torah and mitzvos- to realign and elevate consciousness and the physical world back to where everything is revealing the inner unity, that is the eitz chaim–  The goal is not to get back to the Garden of Eden and tree of life. But realigning and purifying the tree of good and evil so the physical now reflects and reveals the spiritual inner light.


That is in essence what  Rosh Hashanah is a commitment to. RH is the head of year, all flows from it, after the first point, after the DNA. The DNA for year (1st day determines the spirituality, 2nd day creates, based on our consciousness,  the physicality for the whole year) is set on Rosh Hashana. Mystics say our head, our consciousness, must be clear and elevated on these 2 days to create our consciousness for the year.


We need to prepare ourselves, kaballistic- its called “binyan hamalchus” to prepare ourselves to receive all the blessings Hashem wants to give us. Its judgement  day (RH) bc Hashem says: I want to give you all blessings but I want to look over the records of last year and see if you can hold it so I can invest in you (like bank manager).


Judgement is the first day of the new year- this is unusual! In school testing was on the last day of the previous year. RH is the first day of the new year  bc the prime statement is Hashem says I love you and accept you and want to work with you. I want to build the malchus and the relationship with you and your capacity to build a vessel with Hashem. So He says – You are in already! You made it to the next level. But what are we building together next year? What is your  tachlis, tafkid, goal? If you had successes, great. And if you made mistakes, thats ok, if you show Me you will learn and grow from the mistakes and have an intelligent strategy to change them- then all in the last year is perfect bc is elevation and got you where you need to be.


We want to clear our minds and shift our goals and fix our intent for 48 hours of daas, dveikus and tikun hamiddos. When were are in daas, thats great. And when we struggle and frustrated, don’t get angry at yourself- say, great, Hislamdus, what can I learn now?- isn’t it interesting?


Either try be in the perfect state or try to learn from the struggle and celebrate your efforts to try to turn it around. You can show that all the difficulties, darkness, frustrations, and yetzer hara from past year and from those 48 hours (I ate too much, the person next to me is annoying), are ways to show Hashem you can turn your middos around. That is  changing your ego and lifting your needs to something higher, allowing your daas to shift into the steering wheel. All that noise  of distraction is evolving and all is there to teach me and all i can build from. Even (as the mystics say) my sins and the worst mistakes. dont say I am a failure! Say, “I can learn and give that back to you and through that darkness I want to reveal light!”  Take the failures, confusion, struggles, and say that has goodness- you take the tree of knowledge of good and evil and shine the light of the tree of chayim into it. That creates malchus!


Malchus- the central theme of RH- means the capacity to reveal, the capacity for final revelation, the complete manifestation- the feminine manifesting force. Hashem says I gave all the light of the world but its up to you, right here, right now. You need to commit to bring truth, your soul, and revelation,  the light and truth and will of Hashem into the world even when its hard- when your middos don’t want to- when fear, ego, laziness, jealousy and lust in the way. Hashem says then, “Where is your daas?”


Rosh Hashana= head is the daas for the year. Energy comes into our mind to give us Daas for whole year on RH and  the deal is sealed and delivered so to speak on Yom Kippur. We have ten days to build all our consciousness for the year.

So if you are struggling – some days when you learn an exercise like mindfulness, you can do easily and some days you struggle. Why? you do need to practice but also there is an energy of consciousness you can learn to control and awaken. Its true its a muscle you can learn to practice but there is also another factor at play- a spiritual consciousness energy that allows you to access. There is a energy of consciousness that helps that changes the game- and the amount we get of that for the whole year is determined on Rosh Hashana. It gives us our “rosh” for the “shana”, the consciousness capacity for the whole year the capacity to enter malchus, to turn all darkness,  klippos back to light!


That is the commitment of RH: Hashem give me the daas so I can change your world! Let me show you what I want to bring, the will of higher truth and revelation of Hashem and what it means to be an incredible people that we are for you.There is an energy on this day- the whole world is judged.


On Rosh Hashana, Hashem is judging:

  • What did you do this past year?
  • What did you learn from the past year- what did you get right, what did you get wrong, and what did you learn from your mistakes. especially in the time of shofar when judgement for daas is being decided for year- you can bring up what you did wrong and the lessons from what was wrong
  • What are you committing to in the future, spiritually- what are you fighting for? living for? Talk in words. think about, not just whats in my schedule, but what are you committing to , what am I committing to change, what am I kidding myself about that really needs to get done?
  • What resources do you need to do that– You can pray for physical needs. (Its better to pray on second day for physical needs)- but can pray for physical things you need to help you with spiritual. bc physicality -not from ego that can destroy a person- but (food, money, homes, clothes) can be given to you from RH with blessing. you should ask for it bc if you are authentic, its what you need to live with and its meant to help you- but it needs to be in the context of how it can help you express your true spiritual purpose in the world.


There is a spiritual energy that is awakened in this 48 hours. The most powerful time for me is the shofar- Shofar is a time of incredible light and daas for the year floods into our consciousness, where our soul is elevated up and it stands before Hashem. Some time in those 48 hours our soul is elevated up and stands before Hashem. He glances at us and sees all who we are and all who we need to be and in that moment is the judgement. Arizal says that if there is a moment in RH when a person cries uncontrollably, you should know that is the moment of judgement when the soul is standing before the Source of Reality and a new cycle for the year is being determined. Its an incredible opportunity! It awakens deep things within me. Its a great time for teshuva, to return. Close your eyes and think, “Hashem if there is anything I need to release, to change, may it fall into my mind Hashem when the shofar blows and may I release into the light of the shofar.”


The shofar is a time of tremendous rachamim, compassion and tremendous love flooding in from the upper worlds. Baal Tanya: if you want to awaken tremendous spiritual compassion to release even your biggest failings, then at that moment of the shofar have a lot of compassion for yourself. Talk to yourself with tremendous compassion. Pray that Hashem puts into your mind at that time all the things that need to be released and washed away from my consciousness.


I used to have a shopping list for RH but now I ask Hashem to help me use the time and I find that what I need to know comes to me, things pop into my mind and I feel them melt away (we will learn this in elevation 4 and 5)


We humans are Hashem’s shofar. When He blew into Adam, He blew the neshama, Zohar: when a person blows, they blow from within them, from their inner essence.  Our neshama is from His essence.  When we blow a shofar below,  Hashem blows a shofar above, mystics say that is binah, root consciousness of teshuva. Hashem is blowing from His essence, He is blowing His light into us and gives us new life during shofar blowing.

Kisvei Ari : When the shofar is blown, a new fresh soul and energy is being blown into you for the whole year. Its an amazing opportunity during shofar when pristine consciousness flooding in from the highest level of your soul and coming down all the levels of your soul into your mind.


At that moment of shofar blowing, make sure every aspect of your energy is completely with mesiras nefesh, is given over for the Truth, is willing to overcome everything for the truth. All the things you hold onto that you know you should let go of, let it go!  The sin you cant even admit to yourself that you are holding onto, let it go. We said sin is “chet” and the aleph is silent bc soul is blocked- throw it off and say I don’t want sin right now.


Shofar blowing is a rebirthing experience (see online for my Yom Kippur talk). Shofar is “mei shapir”, the amniotic fluid.  Your soul is reborn within you, and the energy of your consciousness is electrified in you. At that moment you are in the amniotic fluid, You go back to the primordial state of consciousness and decide consciously to give up the things that block you and beg Hashem to get the me out of the way so I can reveal my highest truth, my highest soul and purpose which is Hashem.
Don’t burn yourself out. Pace yourself like you are going for a marathon. Don’t exhaust yourself at the beginning, – its an amazing day of opportunity.

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