We find ourselves “Bein Kesseh Le’Assor” – the Talmudic phrase for the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
All the things we asked for on Rosh Hashanah are now hanging in the balance. The verdict, as it were, was pronounced on Rosh Hashanah, but these days are for us to consider what it would take to be worthy of the things we requested.
Logic might dictate that Yom Kippur should come first – clear the decks, wipe the slate clean and then ask for what we need.
But the truth of the matter is that it requires an act of faith to ask for more than we feel we can, from the King of Kings, to whom we owe our very existence. That is Rosh Hashanah.
After presenting such bold – and possibly presumptuous – requests on Rosh Hashanah, it dawns on us that what we have requested far outstrips our own merits!
That is what these days are about. We make the mental switch to align our behaviour and our aspirations for change to the requests we set in motion just two days ago.
That is what Shabbat Shuva and Yom Kippur enable. The capacity to make good on our side of the promise.
We are all inherently capable of small changes. Large changes are unsustainable in the main.
So let us make a single commitment – one prayer, one more attendance at the minyan, one more act of Tzedakah – and build on that for a Sweet and Good Year.
And when we have made good on our side of our requests, we can turn to God for His support in return.
As the prophet Zechariah explained: “Return to Me…and I will return to you”
Shana Tova and Gmar Chatima Tova – May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Rabbi Daniel & Ilana