1. Our Sages say that “Whoever eats and drinks on the ninth (of TishreiErev Yom Kippur), it is as if he fasted on the ninth and tenth.” The eating and drinking on Erev Yom Kippur effects the same things as Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur all Jews are “similar to the ministering angels,” and therefore G‑d gives them all that they need. Since Erev Yom Kippur effects the same things as Yom Kippur, it is certain that through our “teshuvah iloah” (“higher teshuvah”) we have awakened great mercy. “Teshuvah iloah” is done with great joy, and is associated with Torah study. Since Torah is the “vessel” for all blessings, already on Erev Yom Kippur every Jew has surely merited a “chasimah u’gmar chasimah tovah” (“good signing”) in all his physical and spiritual needs.

This year, there is a special element introduced by the day on which Erev Yom Kippur falls — the first day of parshas Berachah. It talks of Jews’ merit (Devorim 33:2): “The L‑rd came from Sinai, and shone upon them from Seir; He appeared from Mount Paran.” As Rashi explains, this verse means that G‑d first offered the Torah to all the other nations (Seir — Esav; Mount Paran — Yishmael), but they did not accept it. Only the Jews accepted the Torah — and without first wanting to know what it said.

Further on, today’s portion of Torah states: “The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Ya’akov.” The acceptance of the Torah by the Jews was in the form of a heritage for each and every Jew for all generations.

These events are re-enacted every year at the time of the giving of the Torah, including Yom Kippur, when the second set of tablets was given. This is particularly so since through the second set of tablets the idea of teshuvah was introduced into Torah; and especially when Erev Yom Kippur falls out on the first day of parshas Berachah, when the above verses are learned.

2. “Deed is paramount,” meaning that the ultimate goal of the above is that these concepts should be translated into actual deed.” We should be blessed with a “gmar chasimah tovah” in our physical and spiritual matters, and especially that all Jews should be inspired to truly repent. This teshuvah should extend to the whole year, and therefore affect our deeds of the entire year, making them “good and illuminating.” This applies to all our deeds: Torah and mitzvos, and also mundane deeds — they should be done “for the sake of heaven,” “good and illuminating.”

Since “deed is paramount,” the blessing for a “gmar chasimah tovah” is principally for material matters. When G‑d blesses a Jew with material things, the Jew converts the material into the spiritual. Indeed, since G‑d’s dwelling place is specifically in this low, physical world, then, when a Jew converts physical matters into a dwelling place for G‑d, he is making a true dwelling place.

This year is also special in that Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbos, which is the idea of “delight.” Not only is Shabbos “delight” of itself, but a Jew can add delight to Shabbos — “You shall call Shabbos delight.” Since Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbos, the whole year is one of delight — G‑d gives every Jew delightful things. And, since Jews convert the material into the spiritual, the delight in physical things brings (through increase in service to G‑d), delight for G‑d — satisfaction that Jews are fulfilling His will.

All this adds to the success in the service of preparation on Erev Yom Kippur, and in the holy service of Yom Kippur itself. Since Yom Kippur is also called “Rosh Hashanah,” its concepts are extended throughout the year. And since holy matters transcend time, they also affect the past — the days before Yom Kippur.

3. The “vessel” for increase in blessings from Above is unity, as stated: “Bless us our Father, all of us together, in the light of Your countenance.” The idea of unity is greatly emphasized this year: Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbos, and on Shabbos all Jews are united. Erev Yom Kippur is on the first day of parshas Berachah, and one of the verses in the daily portion of this day states (Devorim 33:5): “He became King in Yeshurun, when the heads of the people assembled, the tribes of Israel were united.” Thus this year provides special strength for Jews to be “all of us together,” through which we have the fulfillment of “Bless us our Father ... in the light of Your countenance.” These blessings are for all matters, extending to the principal blessing of “He became King in Yeshurun” — Moshiach the king, who will speedily come and lead us to our land.

From unity of all Jews come the other campaigns: Ahavas Yisroel, education, Torah, tefillin, mezuzah, tzedakah, house full of Jewish books, Shabbos and Yom Tov lights (including those of Yom Kippur), kashrus, and family purity. Family purity is the preparation to the fulfillment of the promise “I will sprinkle on you waters of purification, and you will be purified” — which is the preparation to the complete and true redemption through our righteous Moshiach.

Even in these last moments of exile, “The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” G‑d guards all Jews everywhere, and certainly the Jews in the Holy Land, which is the “palace of the King.” All Jews conduct themselves according to the Torah’s directives, including the prohibition to weaken the security of a Jewish settlement — those outside the Land, and certainly those in Eretz Yisroel.

Through keeping the whole Torah” — including the command to guard the “whole land” — we further hasten the redemption, when we will truly have the “whole land,” including the fulfillment of the promise “the L‑rd your G‑d will broaden your borders.” This will be together with the “whole people,” when not even a single Jew will be left in exile, for “You will be gathered one by one, children of Israel” — G‑d takes every Jew from exile, and He Himself goes out from exile together with His people.