And in the seventh month, on the first day, there shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall not perform any mundane work. It shall be a day of shofar sounding for you. You shall offer up (lit. make) a burnt offering… (Bamidbar 29/1-2)
The Medrash comments, “Rav Tachlipha asks that in all the musoffim of the other Yom Tovim it says that you should bring the korbon as a sacrifice but here it says that you should make it! (Rav Tachlipha explains) Hashem said to Yisroel today I (Hashem) look at you as if you were newly created, as if I created you a new being!”
In other words, Rav Tachlipha learns that the phrase “you should make” does not go on the mussaf sacrifice but rather it means that through the mussaf you make yourself.
Zera Shimshon asks how do we benefit from the fact that we are re-created on Rosh Hashana?
He answers in light of a concept that he mentions in other places; even after one does teshuva for a sin that he committed the purification process is not over. Although Hashem atones us for what we did, we still have to be cleansed from the pleasure that we got for doing the specific sin. Sometimes this is done through suffering and pain (yissurim) and sometimes Hashem cleanses us simply through great mercy. (This is the meaning of what we say at the end of the confession on Yom Kippur “Erase (our sins) through Y.our great mercy but not through yissurim)
A proof to this idea is found in the Talmud Yerushalmi (Bikkurim) that says that a Talmid Chochom, someone who gets married, and a leader of Clal Yisroel are granted atonement for their sins.
Zera Shimshon asks how do we understand this Gemorra? If these people didn’t do teshuva why should their status atone for them? If they did do teshuva, why do they need their status to atone for them? Why isn’t teshuva enough?
From here we can extrapolate the above concept; even when these people actually do do teshuva it is not enough to be TOTALLY pure. Most people still need to endure yissurim to complete the purification process. The Yerushalmi teaches us that the status of these three types of people, after they do teshuva, totally purifies them without having to suffer yissurim.
In light of the above we can now understand the benefit being re-created on Rosh Hashana. The Medrash teaches us that when a person sins and brings a korbon, the korbon brings us closer to Hashem. However that person is still not completely pure. The pleasure that he had when he did the sin still taints his neshama.
On Rosh HaShona it is different. The tremendous kedusha of the day, doesn’t only bring us close to Hashem but it makes us into a new being just like a convert who converts who is considered re-born. And just like a convert becomes a new person to such a degree that he is not held at all responsible for that he did before the conversion (according to one opinion in the Gemorro), so to on Rosh Hashana the kedusha of the day totally remakes us, and if we do teshuva there is no need for any “yissurim” to fully purify us!
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