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The Ten Days of Repentance

The Ten Days of Repentance

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Out of His great love for His people, G‑d seeks to be merciful, and would prefer that man repent rather than perish, so that He might grant him good in the end.

He therefore awaits and anticipates the repentance of those who transgress. In His abundant mercy, He granted us special days when He is closest to us, so that our penitence might be immediately accepted.

As the verse (Isaiah 55:6) states: Seek G‑d when He is to be found, call out to Him when He is near.

Our sages commented: This teaches us that there are times when G‑d is to be found and times when G‑d is not to be found, times when He is near and times when He is not near. When is He to be found and near? In the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Therefore, even though repentance and prayer are always appropriate, they are especially appropriate in the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and are immediately accepted.

    During these days, additional prayers are recited, and we are especially careful in fulfilling mitzvot. In some communities, special selichot [penitential prayers] are said before dawn.

      It is fitting for a person to decrease his involvement with worldly occupations during these days, and to increase his study of Torah and practice of charity.

        The pious and G‑d-fearing take care of their debts and obligations before Yom Kippur.

          Scrupulous people who are eager to perform mitzvot make a point of buying an especially beautiful etrog early, during these ten days.

            During the entire period of the Ten Days of Repentance, some have the custom of adding a word to the kaddish prayer: the word l’eila [“beyond”] is repeated, and we say “L’eila ul’eila.” Others, for example the Chabad community, add the word only during the Neilah prayer on Yom Kippur.

            The year-round wording alludes to the exaltation of G‑d beyond all earthly benediction; the doubled usage for the Ten Days of Repentance bespeaks an even greater divine exaltation, in keeping with the central motif of the Days of Awe—the acceptance of divine sovereignty. In addition, since the specified total number of words in the kaddish has a particular significance, we contract two other words, so that the total number of words remains constant [instead of min kol birchata, we say mi-kol birchata].

              Excerpted from: The Book of Our Heritage. Published and copyright by Feldheim Publications.
              © Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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              Uri Yitzchak Orlando,FL September 20, 2015

              May G-d send you His blessings and peace for a healthy and sweet New Year. May this year be the beginning of good tidings for you. Shana Tovah to you, my brother Reply

              Gary W. Harper Saylorsburg, PA September 18, 2015

              When Hashem seems to be most distant and invisible to us; perhaps, that is when He is the closest? Who separates themselves from Hashem?

              In times of suffering, like the world is experiencing today, men return to Hashem. But where was He?

              He Who Fills the Universe: where is He?

              When the father punishes the wayward child, who hurts the most? And does not the good father admonish with but a word, and save the hand for the worst offences?

              It is the same with Hashem, isn't it?

              Are not the children allowed to learn for themselves, no matter how hard it hurts, without interference? Until they are at the point of hurting themselves permanently; then, the father steps in, with the hand of discipline.

              Leave the childishness of selfishness behind; grasp your Inheritance. Then, you will see Hashem Face-to-face. Only adults speak face-to-face; the father gives what is his to the matured child, to manage for him.

              Your Inheritance is at hand, waiting for you. Grasp it.


              Reply

              Benjamin Taylor San Francisco September 17, 2015

              Homeless in San Francisco and asking for prayers for G-d's will to protect and guide me. Shana Tova! Reply

              Richard Daniel Day The District. September 28, 2014

              I am buying my first Esrog and donating it to charity and I have even increased my charitable deeds. Gentlemen and Ladies. Reply

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