On this Yom Kippur we must all be aware of the following fact. The big decisions that will be made in the world will not be made in the Knesset. They will not be made in the White House. They will not be made in The United Nations. They will be made in Shul! Yes, our board of Trustees, our Gabaim, our members and everyone sitting in Shul tonight will decide the fate of Klal Yisroel!
Reb Tzadok HaKohein makes an interesting observation. At the very beginning of life man and woman sinned by eating from the Eitz HaDaas. G-d came to discuss this with Adam. “Why did you eat the forbidden fruit?” Adam pointed to his wife “she made me do it”. G-d moved his presence from Adam and rested his Shechina on Eve. Why did you eat the forbidden fruit? Eve pointed to the ground “the snake made me do it”. G-d shifted his Shechina from the woman and spoke with the snake. The conversation was with the snake. Reb Tzadok explains that when one is confronted with wrongdoing, the immediate reaction is to shift the blame. We immediately hide behind someone or something else. Instead of looking inward we look around. Who can I blame this one on? The Shechina can not rest on someone who shifts the blame. The Shechina can only rest on men and women that take responsibility for what they have done. If we can’t take responsibility, G-d has nothing to say to us.
During troubled times there is always a tendency to look around. It was him, it was her, the NY Times, the White House, Sharon, the chilonim, the chareidim, anyone but us. We can go through life standing on the side of the road pointing; but when we point we push G-d away with our finger.
As a Kehilla we can do so much. The secret is in Kabbala. Kabbala means to accept and to commit. There is nothing more effective on Yom Kippur. For the sake of our children, for the sake of Yerushalayim, for the sake of Kever Rachel, for the sake of the Kosel, for the sake of Klal Yisroel I’d like to ask you all to pause with me for just a moment and make a Kabbala. Take upon yourself just one improvement.
- Make a commitment to study the Parsha with Rashi every week,
- To dress with more Tznius,
- To not let a month go by without having a guest in your home.
- Make a commitment to compliment your husband, your wife and your children at least once a day.
- Do a project that will promote Achdus in our Shul, in our community and in Klal Yisroel,
- pick a different paragraph of Shmoneh Esrei every day that you will pay special attention to,
Just pick one.
Don’t think about what you wish someone else would pick, think about yourself. This will bring the Shechina. This will change the fate of Klal Yisroel.
I’d like to wish you all a gmar chasima tova. May we all be sealed for health, happiness and nachas. May Hashem spread His canopy of peace upon us, upon all of Israel and upon Yerushalayim.