If Pesach’s design is to set one’s house in order and remember leaving Egypt, the ten Days of Repentance beginning with Rosh Hashana and culminating on Yom Kippur have us cleaning slates too while we leave the past. It’s a time for making a lot of things, food (endless meals) making decorations for the Sukkah, but most of all- for making amends. It is the “Time of your life” as your redemption day comes closer and your thoughts are full of acknowledgement. This is the time we go in for a spiritual X-ray. We can actually step out of ourselves and see our intentions and aspirations as we come closer to the Day of Judgment, Yom Kippur.
It’s a time you are usually more mindful of others, more tactful and well meaning. You want to start the New Year on the right foot. It’s a time to climb the Mount of Blessing, to do the right thing. But it really doesn’t matter where you are when it comes to teshuva because you really are in the realm of thought more than any other time of the year. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov said “wherever your mind is- that’s where you are!” (meaning you are – NOT what you eat but what you THINK!) This is the first sphere of Keter – and we count ten till we reach Malchut. Obviously a person has to put his thoughts to practical use but like the new year- it is the first step on the ladder that you have to take. Thoughts are running up and down the ladder all the time, like the angels on Jacob’s ladder- but it all depends on the attitude you take when faced with creative challenges. We will no doubt have to come to grips, call someone’s bluff, and lay it on the line in the forefront of this coming time and place.
Hashem takes great pleasure in our good thoughts!
It is also a time for forgiveness, first from G-d, then from the people in our lives. It is the time that Hashem gives us the spiritual strength to see the truth as we enter the Days of Judgment. Then the entire soul of the one House of Israel and the entire world is rectified. This is the time we return to Hashem. This is not a time for tearfulness but a time to shout Halleluya as you yell yourself hoarse “making a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
It’s like doing a high five with G-d.
After all of this emotional and thoughtful stuff is over we enter G-d’s arms into the snug and cozy Sukkah. There He gives us a special hug.
I would like to bless all of our friends with best wishes for the New Year- for health, happiness and thoughts of many good things to come!
Chag Sameyach, Shana Tova U’metuka- Shabbat Shalom Leah Goldsmith