Dear Readers,

The minute after I pressed “confirm order,” I regretted it.

I checked my email for the confirmation, and sure enough, there was my glaring mistake. After our recent move, I had updated my online shopping accounts to reflect our new address, but somehow this order had reverted back to our old address.

This was going to be a problem. When we moved out of our home, construction was being done by the new owner. A package to our old address, in all likelihood, would simply get lost.

And so began my ordeal of working with customer service. As soon as office hours opened the next morning, I called the company to ask them to either cancel my order or redirect it. “I do apologize, Ma’am, but once the order has been made, it is sent to our warehouse and there is nothing we can do to change the delivery. Please call the shipper, though, who will be able to redirect the package.”

After two calls to UPS, and more than two hours on the phone with customer service and technical support, I had achieved nothing (aside from acquiring a huge headache). The bottom line was that I could not unpress the “confirm order.” What had taken me a minute to do was costing me hours of time and money, and even the geeks and computer techies couldn’t undo it.

Fortunately, this was just a matter of wasted time and money. But in life, we also sometimes cause actions that we regret, creating a huge distance between where we want to be and where we truly are. We wish there was a way to reroute or cancel our decision. Is there?

When G‑d created this world, He knew He was creating imperfect beings who would mess up. And so, He created a concept, a gift, called teshuvah, the ability to erase past mistakes. Logically, it really doesn’t make any sense. It’s impossible to go back in time and undo something that you yourself did. Unless, of course, we realize that time, too, is a creation, and G‑d has abilities that are far beyond logic.

Although we think about teshuvah during the High Holiday season, it’s something that applies year-round. When it comes to our spiritual growth, we can undo our mistakes with the important caveat that we learn and grow from them.

This week, we read about the life of Sarah—all “100 and 20 and seven years.” The interesting phrase teaches us that at every stage, she lived a life of consistent perfection. That doesn’t mean that she knew at age 7 what she learned at 100; rather, she used every stage and every opportunity as a learning and growth experience.

As human beings, we will unfortunately make mistakes and do things we regret. We need to correct whatever we can, and learn and grow from whatever we cannot.

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW

P.S. It seems that with enough effort (and help from geeks), even packages can be redirected. Several days later, my package arrived at … my new address!