Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, transcribed recording
So just in a nutshell listen to this. You know how much life G-d wants to give us all year long? The flow from heaven is so deep, you can only take a little bit but it’s okay. On Rosh Hashanah, the day of the creation of the world, our closeness to G-d is so awesome that unless we take the whole thing – it just doesn’t go. Rosh Hashonna, the day when G-d created the world is such a deep day, mamesh the deepest depths there is. All of me has to be ready to take all of G-d, mamesh all of it.
Rosh Hashonna is one day which is so deep, it has to be all… it has to be all.
Matis Wienberg, Patterns In Time, p. 162
Malchus is the integration of all the expressions of Creation into a tapestry of crowning completeness. Through it we can perceive unambiguous expression of the creative will; lacking it we are buried in incomprehensible detail. Malchus makes orderly molecules out of probabilistic chaos, societies out of hoards- and a universe manifesting concept and Will out of an infinity of disarray. Malchus provides structure and synthesis, allowing all particulars distinct place and moment. (Rosh Hashana is actively involved in the journey that leads from a simplistic wholeness that was, to a completeness that will be.)
Abraham Joshua Heschel
The beginning of faith is... not a feeling for the mystery of living or sense of awe, wonder and amazement. The root of religion is the question what to do with the feeling for the mystery of living, what to do with the awe, wonder and amazement. Religion begins with a consciousness that something is asked of us.
רבינו בחיי, חלק א, בראשית לח:ל אין מלך בלא עם
Rabbeinu Bechaya, Bereishit 38:30
There is no King without a nation.
Reb Zalman Shachter Shalomi
And as is put forward in sefarim [holy books], the point of Rosh Hashanah is binyan hamalchut as we pray, “reign over the whole world in Your dignity.” ...
What is our role? To raise Binyan hamalchut! “Pronounce before me verses of malchuyot, etc” (in order to make me your Sovereign via arousal from below) and through this we arouse the Divine will to be our king for another year...
R. Joseph Soloveitchik, On Repentance
The Problem of repentance (teshuva) in intertwined with an apprehension of the concept of time how it relates to human existence... Humans exist within two dimensions of time 1) In memory and 2) in expectation for the future... The present is the bridge that connects the two... What does a sinner do when he comes to repent of the wrongdoings he committed in the past? There is a repentance which does allow for continuity and which accords recognition to the past, and there is also repentance whose goal is the utter annihilation of the vil i the soul of man... Sometimes one will "erase" certain years of a lifetime... But when one blots out a part of his past he also severs part of his being; his past shrinks and his personality is dwarfed. An "operation" of this sort is not easily carried out... I have seen penitents do just that - and the consequences? They become different and estranged from their families and friends, who appeared to them to belong to another eon, a different world... All feeling and experiences connected with that period were dead to them. This is the first was of repentance, but there is another way - not by annihilating evil but by rectifying and elevating it. This repentance does not entail making a clean break with the past of obliterating memories. It allows man... to continue to identify with the past and still return to G-d in repentance... This way of repentance does not transform the penitent into "another". Here, there is no clean break between "this person" of yesterday and the "he/she" of today. It is no necessary to blot out and erase the past. The future can be built upon the foundations of the past. How so? By elevating and exalting (sin). The tears of sin are trasnformed into powerful impulsive forces which propel the sinner towards God... The penitentwho does not wipe out the past nor tear the pages of sin from his/her memort, but rather makes a point to use the memory of his sins to enhance his longings for holiness... such a person achieves the quality of repentance which elevates evil to a state of goodness.
Lew: "Our souls are making this journey, yours and mine. The trip will go a lot better if we know where we are going”.
Unetaneh Tokef Prayer
On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who will live and who will die… but Teshuvah [returning, turning, repentance], Prayer, and Righteous Deeds can transform [ma’avirin] the evil of the decree.
Lew, Alan. This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared (p. 69)
There is something about the mechanics of prayer that causes us to know ourselves. Like all spiritual activities, Jewish communal prayer has a point of focus; in this case, the words of the prayer book. We try to concentrate on these words, but inevitably our mind wanders and we lose our focus. When we realize that this has happened, we bring our focus back to the words of the prayer book, and as we do, we catch a glimpse of what it is that has carried us away. This is an important thing to see. The thoughts that carry our attention away are never insignificant thoughts, and they never arise at random. We lose our focus precisely because these thoughts need our attention and we refuse to give it to them. This is why they keep sneaking up on our attention and stealing it away. This is how it is that we come to know ourselves as we settle deeply into the act of prayer. Most likely we are utterly unaware of all this. After all, it operates well below the level of consciousness. Nevertheless, sitting there with the prayer book in our lap, we begin to become aware of the things we have been trying to avoid; we begin to see things from which we have been averting our gaze; unconscious material begins to make its way toward the surface of our consciousness.
On Rosh Hashanah, the acid test is, how much are you praying for someone else? In the Rosh Hashanah prayers, it's never singular, always plural. Because I'm standing before G-d and I'm saying unless you give life to the entire world, please don't give it to me. Unless you make everyone rich, please I don't want to be the only rich man. Unless you give peace to the whole world, don't give me anything, unless you give it to my husband, my wife, my children, unless you give it to Yerushalayim. Friends! Let this year be a real beginning not the same beginning we go through every year. Let's not begin the old record over again -- let there be a new record. New teachings. New words. New thoughts. Let every breath we take feel like we never breathed before. The holy Sochachover says when we blow shofar, G-d absolutely blows a new soul into us. Lets keep this new soul so holy and so beautiful & let's inscribe each other into the book of life.