'May we be the head and not the tail'

Letter to haredi IDF soldiers by Shachar Unit Rabbi and Haredi Integration Administration policy head.

IDF Major Rabbi Shimshon Klein,

Major Shimshon Klein, Shachar Unit Rabbi and Haredi Integration Administration policy head
Major Shimshon Klein, Shachar Unit Rabbi and Haredi Integration Administration policy head
IDF Spokesman

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, the halakhah - Shulchan Aruch, 583 - rules it is customary to eat foods whose names contain auspicious hints on Rosh Hashanah.

One of those is that we customarily eat a sheep's or fish's head, and as we eat we say "may we be the head and not the tail."

This phrase, "Let us be the head and not the tail," is taken from the Torah portion of Ki Tavo that we read last Saturday.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev asks: If we become a head, we certainly won't be the tail, for this is a thing and its opposite. Wasn't it enough to mention our head, and it would be understood we wish not to be the tail?

The answer is that there is a head that is indeed a head but actually a tail relative to something higher than it, such as a low mountain peak that is actually is the foot of a higher mountain.

If so, the root of the blessing is that we become so high that no tail of something higher than it exists!

Dear Shachar soldiers,

I bless you from the depths of my heart that you will continue to be the head as you are in the army and security forces. And in the coming year, you will be able to conquer new heights and new peaks. A sweet, happy new year to you and your families.

Sincerely yours, with love,

Major Shimshon Klein, Shachar Unit Rabbi and Haredi Integration Administration policy head








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