The Ten Days of Repentance

In last week’s parashah, it is written (Devarim 30:19-20):
I call heaven and earth today to bear witness against you, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, so that you may live, you and you offspring, to love Hashem your God, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For this is your life and the length of your days ….
The Maggid links this passage to one of the special prayers we say during the Ten Days of Repentance. We pray: “Remember us for life, O King Who desires life, and inscribe us in the Book of Life – for Your sake, O Living God.” The reason we ask for continued life is not so we may indulge further in the pleasures of this world. Rather, we ask for continued life so that we may continue to serve Hashem. Thus, David HaMelech says (Tehillim 115:17-18): “The dead cannot praise God, nor can all those who descend into silence, but we will bless God from this time and forever, Hallelujah.” Continued life enables us to bring Hashem honor. A person of wisdom yearns to serve Hashem; as Yeshayah says (verse 26:8): “Your Name and remembrance of You are the desire of the soul.”
In the Torah passage we quoted above, the Torah is telling us to choose real life, turning away from petty matters and focusing on loving Hashem and hearkening to Him. This is the true essence of our lives and the length of our days.
Ksiva V’Chasima Tovah!
David Zucker, Site Administrator

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