• Rachel Shifra Tal

Teshuva: Why do we avoid it?

Teshuva: The Ultimate Delete Button, with Conditions That is exactly how the Rambam describes teshuva working: Teshuva occurs when one distances himself exceedingly from the thing wherein he sinned, to the point his identity changes, as if saying: “I am now another person, and not that person who perpetrated those misdeeds”, to completely change his conduct for the good and straight path. (Taken from the Aish article “The Right to be Forgotten”) It is almost upon us, Yom Kippur, the most intense day of the Jewish calendar. If one struggles with making it through life, you are human. Those out there who think life is a breeze, I don't think you are real, or living in reality. Life, is as I like to say, excruciating and exhilarating. Living life takes everything we have got in our arsenal and toolbelt. If you live like me, I am always looking for nuggets of wisdom / tools to get through this thing called life. Multiple times a year, sometimes many times a day, I want off. Get me off this intense ride, that I am not even sure I signed up for! When it comes to Yom Kippur.....if we go with the arsenal analogy, one needs a nuclear device! I haven't had that many Yom Kippurim. Each one is a bit different, I am different, my struggles are different, yet through the years a pattern seems to emerge. I feel that we as Jews have a bit of a love / hate relationship with our Jewish identity and connection with our Creator. Never is it more apparent than when the month of Elul hits....and then comes Yom Kippur. Ah the triggers. • Accepting we don't have control over our lives. (Yes we have some, will get to that in a bit) • Acknowledging G-D as King and a force in our lives • Actually looking at ourselves, our successes, our failures, our shortcomings • Making amends, saying sorry; and even harder, I forgive you • And the most terrifying trigger of all, asking G-D for another year of life I will never ever understand (not making a new vow here, heaven forbid I would have to annul another one!) Why people come to shul on Yom Kippur but not the rest of the year? Why not Sukkot! Simchat Torah! Purim! Much more fun if you ask me!!! Herein, perhap