The Jewish Eye
Path To Teshuva-Part I
Path To Teshuva-Part I
Based on a Naaleh.com shiur by Rabbi Hanoch Teller - September 15, 2010
This article is provided courtesy of Naaleh.com, which offers Free, live Torah video courses, taught by world renowned teachers from great Yeshivas and Seminaries. Sign up now for a FREE Account at Naaleh.com to enjoy classes by this lecturer, and many others.
The Chafetz Chaim once said that the telephone was invented to teach us that what is said here can be heard there. When a person speaks lashon hara or uses bad language, it's all heard "up there." A train teaches us the value of time. If you arrive a second late you've missed it. A telegram teaches us that every word counts. Credit cards also impart a valuable lesson. In life, you can get anything you want, but eventually you'll have to pay for it.
There is a way out, though. During the Ten Days of Repentance in Shmoneh Esrai we say, "Zachreinu l'chaim...l'manecha Elokim chaim. Remember us for life, for Your sake." If you're working for the Big Boss, it's a company expense, otherwise it's charged to your account. If you buy a new dress in honor of Yom Tov, the bill's on Hashem. If you buy it for your own honor, the bill's on you. If you build a big fancy house to knock people's eyes out, you're going to have to pay for it. If it's to do hachnasat orchim, Hashem foots the bill.
The Torah termed Esav, ish sadeh, a man of the field, because even when he was in the Beit Midrash, his head was in the fields. In contrast, Yaakov was called yoshev ohalim. Wherever he found himself, his head was in the Beit Midrash. This is the question we need to ask ourselves on Yom Kippur, "Where am I?" Is my mindset that of Esav or do I identify with Yaakov?
It's not enough to hear the shofar, it has to move us to action. When we move the clock back, people always exclaim, "Great! An extra hour of sleep." Do we stop to think what we're saying? Sleep is one sixtieth of death. We're grabbing on to the tree of death. Can we ask Hashem for life if we're squandering it on sleep? Why waste time sleeping if we can fill those very hours with Torah and mitzvot?
Before Ne'ila on Yom Kippur, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev would make a deal with Hashem. He would offer his sins in exchange for forgiveness, life, sustenance and children; life so that he could continue to thank and praise Hashem, sustenance so that he could have strength to bless Him, and children so that they could engage in Torah and mitzvot. Let this heartfelt prayer be on our lips as we earnestly beseech Hashem, "Give us life, l'manecha- for your sake - so that we can extol and glorify your name." May it be a blessed, sweet, new year.
About the Author: Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Rabbi Hanoch Teller has lectured before audiences on five continents, in 40 American States and 24 other countries. People from all backgrounds flock to hear this award-winning author, orator, and educator speak on a wide range of subjects.
Rabbi Teller (personal website) is a popular teacher in numerous Jerusalem Yeshivas and seminaries. As a teacher, Rabbi Teller draws from his thorough knowledge of Torah, Jewish history and thought, specifically the history of our rabbis and leaders, to inspire and uplift his students during his shiurim.
Rabbi Teller is one of the few independent guides who have been licensed by Yad Vashem, the Israel Holocaust Museum, to give tours of their new museum. Rabbi Teller has also been leading groups of Yeshiva students on tours through Eastern Europe for many years. Hanoch Teller's guided tours are unique in their ability to present the events of the Holocaust from a unique, clear and uncompromising perspective, emphasizing the experiences of the individual victims.
In Naaleh's Fall 2007 Semester, Rabbi Teller teaches Torah Online in his class, "Inspired Lives II".
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