Last week’s portion (yes I’m a few days behind!) was Ki Tavo. There is a verse at the top of the portion that says accursed is anyone who does not uphold this Torah. Now this sounds like it could be bad news for you and I who are not perfect. Are we accursed because we cannot uphold the Torah? But Ram Ban, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman expounds on this verse by saying that if one believes in his heart that the commandments are valid then he is upholding the Torah.
He goes on to say that is someone eats the flesh of swine or some other abominable animal, or out of laziness does not build a sukkah for the feast of Tabernacles, as long as he believes in his heart that he should do or not do these things then it is only a transgression against the Torah and he is not accursed. This is wonderful news for you and I because we are going to transgress the Torah all the time, most likely on a daily basis. But this is where the mercy and grace of God come in. And this is what we are looking forward to as we approach these High Holy Days.
Throughout the preparation process there are a series of services that are known as s’lichot. These are services in which we ask for the mercy and forgiveness of God as we prepare our hearts for High Holy Days.
You can download for free our wonderful machzor called 100 Gates 100 Shofarot at shofar.shuvu.tv. You will absolutely love it as you read through the messianic commentary of all these wonderful parts of the liturgy. Also in daily devotional style, we have the daily s’lichot services.
During this time we need to be in repentance, right now we need to do teshuvah but we also need to realize that we are not neglecting to uphold the Torah if we simple transgress it. We are human and we are not perfect, we forgive ourselves as well as others. Someone once said it is not how you fall down but how you get back up again. When we mess up, that’s when we go to our gracious and merciful God; we repent, we turn around, we beg his forgiveness.
It is time now to get back up, to move on. This is a wonderful lesson for us at this time of year and, really, every day, I wish you God’s richest blessings.
Shalom and Kol Tuv
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