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300 Gems from the Ben Ish Hai
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Women's Corner

I Look the Same. Am I really a Different Person?

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, 'a"h
Thursday, September 28, 2017/Tashri 8, 5778

We are in the midst of very auspicious times right now, the Asereth Yemei Teshubah, The Ten Days of Repentance. With so few days left to Yom Kippur, we have to make great efforts to seize every moment and not lose them.

Yom Kippur is such a special time that we are told that the process that leads us to Yom Kippur, gives us the capability of becoming new people. We all do things we should not have done, we all make poor choices at times. This is normal, we are human, it is how G-d created us. But at this time, while we may look the same, G-d has given us the power to become a totally new person.

How is this person? Imagine a person who his whole life cheated in business, did not keep Shabbath, and did not do Miswoth. At Yom Kippur he has the opportunity to become an entirely new person. Not only are all his sins forgiven, but more than that, everything he has done has turned into merits.

How can this be? How can our sins be turned into merits? The answer is through repentance, through Teshubah. Not just any repentance. Not repentance out of fear, where we only apologize because we don't want punishment. Rather, repentance out of love. Repentance because we love G-d.

How do we get to this level of loving G-d? We do it with our hearts. We can do it at any time. When you are in the supermarket, you can focus on loving G-d. When you are driving in your car, you can focus on loving G-d. You can focus on loving G-d when you are in an argument with your spouse. A measure of love is what we are willing to do for the one we love, even when it is hard for us. Think about what you are willing to do for G-d because you love him. Repent out of love, and may all of our sins be turned into merits and may we all be inscribed in the book of life and good health.


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