The time is almost up. We have had a month already, since the
beginning of Elul, to prepare ourselves for the upcoming
judgment. We have not waited placidly for the time to pass,
but have taken an active role in exploiting the days to try
to reach the goals of these yemei rotzon.
Everybody calls this period "yemei rotzon," but what
do they mean by it? In what sense are these days related to
Surely one point is the these are days of appeasement, days
when Hashem anticipates and especially welcomes our turning
to Him. These are days when He is easy to please, as it were,
with our efforts at impressing Him, and it is in that sense
that these are yemei rotzon, days of appeasement in
which Hashem is quietly willing to be appeased and is even
predisposed to attempts of ours. That is surely one sense in
which these are called yemei rotzon.
But the word rotzon also has another sense, it can
also mean "days of desire." Perhaps these are called days of
desire to emphasize the opportunity that Hashem offers us in
these days, in which it is easier than in other times to
achieve what we most desire: to come close to Hashem. In
these final days of Elul, and all the more in the days of
aseres yemei teshuva, we can achieve desirable ends
that might normally be beyond our reach.
Hashem is, as it were, close to us in these days. If we only
try, it is easier than always to come close to Him. We just
have to make the first step, we need only call out to Him.
With relative ease we can reach this most desirable goal.
On erev Rosh Hashanah, in a shmuess, HaRav Elia Lopian
zt"l (20 Elul was his thirtieth yahrtzeit) told
over the following insight that he had heard from HaRav
Yitzchok Blazer zt"l: "If one commits an aveiro
and then he sighs about it, they write and seal in
Shomayim as follows: `So-and-so committed aveiro
such-and-such -- but with a sigh!' And if someone commits
an aveiro without a sigh, then they write that he
committed an aveiro without a sigh.
"The difference," concluded HaRav Elia Lopian, "between the
punishment of the aveiro with the sigh and the
aveiro without the sigh, is much greater than the
distance between the shomayim and the eretz."
Even a simple sigh, a pang of remorse, upon committing a sin
can mean an enormous difference in the weight of the damage
How much more of a difference does it make if we do a full
teshuva, regretting our mistakes and leaving them
behind to return to Hashem wholeheartedly. The posuk
tells us that it is close to us, "in your mouth and in your
heart to do it" (Devorim 30,14). It may not always be
easy, but it is very close and we are assured that we can do
it if we have the will, the rotzon, to do so.
Kesiva vechasima tova to all Beis Yisroel.