This week's Torah portion, Nitzavim, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. There are so many things about this portion that connect to Rosh Hashanah. Nitzavim speaks of our commitment to G‑d, His Torah and mitzvahs. It teaches about teshuvah (repentance) and foretells our return to G‑d in this dark exile, how G‑d will gather us from the farthest places.

Since the parshah speaks about teshuvah as the prelude to the in-gathering of the exiles, and being that we want it to happen already, let’s talk about teshuvah.

Even the holiest of people can tap into the power of teshuvah

Teshuvah means return to G‑d. On a basic level this means, to regret your past ways, ask for forgiveness and get back on G‑d's path.

When a person has broken trust and wants to be trusted again, acting remorseful and saying "I'm sorry" is not enough. He needs to reach higher, find a greater level of character and prove himself worthy of forgiveness.

Yet, teshuvah can be so much more. Even the holiest of people can tap in to the power of teshuvah.

The verse1 says, "and you will return until the L‑rd your G‑d."

When you say return, it implies going back to a place or situation you were in before. What place are we speaking of here? This takes us to a whole new level of teshuvah, to a place where we are in perfect harmony with G‑d.

Each of us has a neshamah, a piece of G‑d inside of us. It is our essence. Over time we can become so involved in the physical, mundane world that our neshamah gets forgotten. Even mitzvahs can be done out of habit, void of meaning.

Teshuvah is connecting to your G‑dly essence, your neshamah. It is a journey to your core. Every step you take inward, brings clarity. You see how you are one with G‑d and that He loves you because you are part of Him. When you connect at this level, the more elementary forms of teshuvah follow automatically. How could you remain the same after connecting so deeply? Regret, remorse and bitterness over your previous state will overtake you, and you become closer to G‑d.

Since our neshamah is infinite, there are always deeper/higher levels to connect to. Through teshuvah even a tzadik can find new levels of G‑dliness with which to connect.

Your essence it already there, your neshamah has always been at the highest level. You now have to "return until G‑d," return to where your neshamah is one with G‑d. Since He is infinite, so is our journey, giving us the ability to get ever closer.

Perhaps G‑d wants our closeness to come from our own initiative

Suffering also brings you closer to G‑d. We have suffered enough. Perhaps G‑d wants our closeness to come from our own initiative.

As a father and husband, I love my family to no end, like any father and husband would, and still, there is great pleasure when the love and closeness from my family is of their own initiative.

In preparation for Rosh Hashanah, let us take the initiative to get closer to G‑d. May He, with his fatherly love, send Moshiach and gather the exiles and bring us home.

May you be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year.