"Repentance, Prayer & Charity Nullify the Harsh Decree"
(Yom Kippur Liturgy)
Repentance, prayer and charity: This phrase, found in the liturgy of Yom Kippur, is based on a teaching of our sages which states that these three endeavors are the keys which enable us to repair our relationship with G-d and with our fellow man. By engaging wholeheartedly in repentance, prayer and charity we nullify the harsh decree that otherwise might have befallen us.
The wondrous beauty of teshuva - repentance - which is the essence of Yom Kippur, is that it is entirely within our capacity to achieve. Our sages likewise teach us that G-d created teshuva even before He created the heavens and the earth, and for that very reason it is hardwired into our spiritual essence. G-d, indeed, desires that we return unto Him. Like a father, with outstretched arms, beckoning His young child to take his first steps toward him, so too G-d makes Himself imminently near and approachable, if we but take our first steps toward Him. Part of our return to G-d involves our making amends with others whom we may have hurt or offended. This is no less important. If we make the effort, G-d guarantees the result: "May the wicked one abandon his way and the man of iniquity his thoughts; may he return to HaShem and He will show him mercy, and to our G-d, for He is abundantly forgiving." (Isaiah 55:7)
Repentance, prayer and charity: These are the three keys which enable us to repair our relationship with G-d and with our fellow man. If we grasp them and embrace them with all our heart and soul and being we will open the gates of repentance before us and begin the new year renewed: Signed, sealed and delivered in the Book of Life!
As we begin our new year together, we at the Temple Institute wish to express our deep gratitude for your generous and steadfast support. As you are aware, the Temple Institute is a non-profit organization, and as such, the Institute relies almost exclusively on private donations, such as yours. Our ability to continue working on every aspect of the preparations for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, (which includes the recreation of the sacred vessels and reaching out to teach and share with people all over the world the sublime beauty of the Holy Temple and the necessity for the restoration of the Divine service in order to fulfill G-d's promise of redemption for all mankind), is solely dependent upon your continued support. In these times of economic uncertainty, your participation is more crucial than ever, and will aid our efforts toward the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, speedily in our days!
Tune in to this week's TEMPLE TALK with Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven, and warm the cockles of your heart: Passion, pathos and power; emotion, elation and energy: It's all here in this week's breathtaking Repentance-themed edition of TEMPLE TALK, the first installment of this brand-new year of 5772. Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman are at their very best, as they grapple with the I and Thou of this moving month of Tishrei and the re-calibration of our souls which the Divinely-orchestrated, life-changing experiences of this holiday season are designed to impart.