This Rosh Hashana, All You Have to Do is: Show Up
By Boropark24 Staff
“On the Shabbos before Elul, there was a change in the air; one smelled already the Elul-scent, a teshuvah-wind was blowing,” Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, zt”l, poetically once said.
While evoking the refreshing cooling of temperatures and the crisp autumn scent, the Frierdiker Rebbe was expressing that while Jews perpetually aim to release their failings and misdeeds through teshuva, late Elul, provides an atmosphere that is particularly ripe for us to return to the untarnished purity at the core of our souls.
Some of us may start to feel apprehensive as we prepare to “pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” to receive our Divine decrees from the heavenly court of “who shall live, and who shall die; who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; and who shall fall and who shall rise.”
Instead of trembling with anxiety and dread, we must remember: teshuva is not only something that results after hours of davening and making cheshbonos hanefesh. In Elul and Tishrei, teshuva is as plentiful and as accessible as the air we breathe and can be achieved with simplicity and ease.
We need only to communicate what's in our hearts to Hashem, whether or not we feel motivated to daven or optimistic that we can change.
We may feel broken inside or feel fearful that we are a disappointment to Hashem, but by just showing up with our rawest, flawed selves, we are actually bonding with our Creator.
Hashem doesn’t want to greet us with all of our defenses, denials, and rationalizations that cloud our true identities.
Our vulnerability is precisely what Hashem desires.
Last Shabbos, Parshas Ki Tavo starts off by saying that all the Jews need to do to receive their inheritance of Eretz Yisroel is to enter it, exactly as they were on the day that they arrived.
Similarly, as we make our final preparations to honestly look inward in the next few days, should a feeling of dread appear, we should remember that when we pass by Hashem in a single file line on Monday, all we have to do is show up as we are.
Kesiva v’chasima tova.