The Parsha speaks about Teshuvah. The great Ezra designed the calendar so that this Parsha will always be read before Rosh HaShanah so that at this exact time of year our hearts and minds should be focused on improving our relationship with the Almighty.
Recently I collected some advice from the Talmud for creating some Shalom Bayit between us and G-d.
* The Talmud says (Rosh HaShana 17) that anyone who swallows their pride will be forgiven for all their sins! Rashi explains that if you let someone be right even if they’re wrong, G-d will forgive you even if you’re wrong.
* We all sin. How do we feel after we have done something that we shouldn’t have? Do we rationalize and try to make ourselves feel better? The Talmud says (Brachos 12) if one sins and then is ashamed of what they did (boshet) that sin is forgiven!
* If you answer Yehai shmay Rabba with all your strength any evil decree will be annulled. (Shabbos 119) If the Yehai shmay Rabba is said at the Kadish following Torah study than all sins are forgiven. (Koheles Rabba 9) If you tell G-d what you feel about him at a well placed moment and you really mean it your relationship has been restored.
* If one keeps Shabbat carefully even the sin of idol worship will be forgiven. (Shabbos 118)
* Golut (having to leave our place of comfort) atones all sins. (Sanhedrin 37) If one has in mind Golut while walking to Shul in inclement weather or even if while being deposed from ones regular seat in Shul ones sins are forgiven. (Pele Yoetz)
* “With kindness and truth sins are forgiven” (Mishlei 15; 6) ‘Truth’ refers to the study of Torah (Brachos 5) There is no better way to strengthen our relationship with Hashem than by studying His Torah daily. Even just a commitment to study a bit more works. A day should not go by that every one of us doesn’t take at least a few minutes to study a bit of Torah.
This is the last Shabbos of the year. It is according to many the most important Shabbos of the year. All’s well that ends well.
Please join me in my prayer that we grow in spirit as we usher in the New Year 5773 with happiness and health.