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Beit Midrash Shabbat and Holidays Rosh Hashana

Rosh Shana

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During this season we recite from the Machzor: "U'teshuva u'tefilla u'tzedaka ma'avirin et ro'a hagezera" - "Repentance, prayer and charity remove the evil [part] of the verdict." Due to the perilous situation in Eretz Israel during the past year many of us implemented the above well before Elul, the month of repentance which precedes the Yamim Nora'im. Surely the outpouring of our prayers and the charitable acts on behalf of our brethren (and ourselves!) in danger had an effect on High. Hopefully, many Jews both in Israel and in the Diaspora have already earned the right to have their "verdicts" improved! We can only hope that our ongoing sincere prayers and acts of kindness during this season will help to subscribe us in the Books of Good Life, Redemption and Salvation, Sustenance and Support, Merits, and Forgiveness and Pardon!

Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that the very first ingredient listed above is "repentance," from the verb shuv, which means "return." Clearly this implies that it is of utmost importance that we "return" to the ways of God and His Torah, in order to receive His forgiveness and the promise of a good year to come. It also behooves us to recall that the same verb shuv is used countless times in reference to our "returning" to our Land. Indeed, both ideas are intertwined at the end of the Haftarah for the second day of Rosh HaShanah. We would do well at this time to remember that "Whoever lives in Eretz Israel is sinless" (Ketubot 110b), "Eretz Israel atones" (ibid. 111a), and "Whoever walks four cubits in Eretz Israel is assured of a place in the world-to-come" (ibid.).

Lest one say, "Isn't it too late to act now?" - it is nice to know, as R. Chaim Kanievsky states in his Derech Sicha, that God uses the resolutions we make today as "post-dated checks" to credit our Yom Kippur account as of now!

Tichleh shana vekileloteha; tachel shana u'virchoteha - May the coming year bring us only blessings!
Ketiva vachatima tova!
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