דבר תורה לחודש תשרי – ירח האיתנים – השביעי
We approach Tishre with solemn thoughts of repentance, worry about the future and bolstered by the shofar and the Selichot of Elul. Facing the Divine Judgement is awesome.
The Judge is not a person of flesh and blood, He is the Creator – The King of the Universe מלך העולם. From the beginning of the month we say in our prayers המלך הקדוש instead of הא-ל הקדוש. We celebrate the "crowning" of The King – יום מלכות ה'
Even the sounding of the שופר is part of the joyful announcement of the King's reign, so is the תשליך, when we go to a source of water, not only to wash away our sins, but also to ask for continued flow of blessings for the King.
In תפילת מוסף, the Musaf Prayer of ראש השנה emphasizes this central aspect of the holiday by:
מלכויות, זיכרונות ושופרות
A body of ten verses from the תנ"ך mentioning the מלכות, Royalty of HaShem, Ten mentioning that HaShem remembers all his subjects and ten, mentioning the blowing of Shofarot.
We mention the belief in מלכות ה', in the commandment of קריאת שמע, reciting
שמע ישראל ה' א-לכינו ה' אחד
We declare: Hear Israel HaShem our God is One
This is not an empty declaration. We take upon ourselves to obey the laws, the מצוות of the King.
It is quoted in the name of Rav Yitzchak Lurie, Ha'ari Hakadosh:
"לפני שהאדם יאמר "קריאת שמע" יקבל על עצמו את המצוה "ואהבת לרעך כמוך
Before reciting "Shema" on has to accept the commandments of loving your fellow,
(Loving HaSHem is not enough, you have to love each other.)
The same idea is expressed by a different school of Jewish thought.
Dr. Shlomo Tichoshinski in his study of the Mussar movement in Lithuania describes the preparation for Rosh Hashana in the Mussar Center in Kelmo:
"אמרו חז"ל "אמרו לפני מלכויות כדי שתמליכוני עליכם
Recite the verses of מלכויות in order to establish my reign over you.
Why does God the King need to confirm his reign?
The king of flesh and blood is a real ruler when all his servants and subjects unite to serve him.
This is the power of royalty. (The subjects are the source of power)
In the same way we have to practice the מצוה of "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" during the entire year and thus establish unity amongst us, the people of HaShem, His servants and thus we shall be able to recite truthfully מלכויות, declare Him King and He will accept with grace our זכרונות. He will remember us and give a good year.
May we take these words to our hearts so that we merit a
כתיבה וחתימה טובה לכל בית ישראל