11 Cheshvan 5781 / Thursday, October 29, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
 
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HomeHolidays and Fast DaysRosh Hashanah3 Keys to the Best Year Ever
 
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3 Keys to the Best Year Ever    

3 Keys to the Best Year Ever



The hidden meaning of the famous “Teshuva, tefilla (prayer) and tzedakah (charity) overturn the harsh decree” will astound you!

 



You might recognize the phrase “Teshuva,  tefilla,  u’tzedaka  ma’avirin  et  roa  hagezeira  Repentance, prayer, and charity overturn the harsh decree” from prayers of the High Holy Days. These are the three things that we are supposed to focus on during Elul and the 10 Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. 

 

On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed – everything that will happen over the coming year 5781 is being decided NOW! You want to do everything you can to make sure that your day in court on the big Day of Judgment comes out in your favor. 

 

But, these three things are not as simple as they seem. They are actually hints to the most powerful forms of these three things, which have the most power to change you and your judgment for the better. 

 

Think about it this way – what would we NOT have done if we knew last year, how this year would turn out? Let’s use that reality to push us to make this year much better! 

 

Teshuva – Daily Personal Accounting 

Obviously, repenting for everything you have done over the past year and your major faults and failings is important, especially during Elul, and especially Erev Rosh Hashanah 

 

However, the real secret of “teshuva” is  daily  cheshbon nefesh  personal soul accounting, on what you did  over the last day, since your last daily session. At first it might seem overwhelming, and even depressing (you can get some tips on overcoming that in my article Repentance Rehab). But it’s well worth the effort. 

 

There is a rule: If someone judges themselves, then the Heavenly Court cannot judge them for that same thing. So if you review your day and dealings, thanking Hashem for the good things Hashem enabled you to do and praying over the mistakes and failings, then you can no longer be judged or punished for them anymore!  

 

Even bigger, Hashem gives a huge free gift to us, knowing that we are human and can only do so much: Your 30 minutes a day is called “doing your effort.” Hashem then finishes the rest, and forgives ALL your sins – even the ones you didn’t manage to pray about!  

 

Rabbi Arush is always repeating: G-d is very merciful, but He doesn’t let go of anything. G-d can have patience even while you repeat the same mistake 1000 times (G-d forbid) and never give up hope that next time you’ll do better – as long as you honestly regret, apologize, and pray for Hashem to help you in the future (this last step is actually the MOST important and most often forgotten step). G-d will forgive even what you couldn’t manage to talk about, knowing that we all need 1,000 hours a day to repent in truth.  

 

Therefore, someone doing a proper daily accounting comes into Rosh Hashanah clean! He is only judged on Rosh Hashanah since his last personal accounting. Not bad! 

 

Not only that, but someone who does a daily personal accounting is called a real “yirat Shamayim – someone who has "Fear of Heaven" because he doesn’t wait for Hashem to punish him for his sins. Even more, he is called someone who repents out of love and not fear – and therefore all of his sins become MERITS! 

 

But G-d never lets go. If you don’t do your best to return to Hashem every day and pray for help to come close to Him and serve Him properly – then you come into Rosh Hashanah with a very heavy load, indeed. 

 

So, the secret is – repent every day, and get a good judgement! There is no time like NOW to start – don’t worry that it’s late in the year. In Elul you can fix the entire year, as if you did it properly the whole year! 

 

It is important to add another important point – personal holiness. Rebbe Nachman calls this “the universal sin” – so by definition, working on improvement in this area is the “universal repentance.” Everything is dependent on it – income, happiness, peace in the home, good children, and much more. Even just one small new thing in this area yields big results! 

 

I just heard from a radio lesson with Rabbi Arush tonight - if you do teshuva in these final days of the year, then you end the year clean - and everything goes according to the end. You come into Rosh Hashanah totally clean, a perfect tzaddik! And especially to do teshuva Erev Rosh Hashanah.

 

Harav also said "there is no teshuva bigger than someone who switches out their smartphone for a kosher phone during these final days of the year!"

 

Tefilla – Personal Prayer 

The essence of prayer is actually hitbodedut – personal prayer. This is because prayer is “the work of the heart” and it’s difficult to read text with your whole heart. But by definition, speaking in your own words with your Creator comes from your heart, and by definition with intention. After all, it’s your own words!  

 

Emuna is prayer, and prayer is emuna. If you believe in the Creator – you speak to Him. And if you don’t speak to Him – then your belief is fundamentally lacking. 

 

Only through personal prayer can you forge a personal, loving and close relationship with G-d. Just like it’s hard to stay emotionally connected to a spouse or close friend if you rarely or never talk to them – so too, G-d! G-d becomes real to you, not just some abstract, as you continue to speak to Him and then get answers. Not through some voice in your head (otherwise please head immediately to the nearest psychiatric ward!) but through ideas popping suddenly into your heart, “chance” meetings with people that suddenly answer your question or fix your problem, and a million other possibilities. In short, you start experiencing Hashem’s guiding Hand in your life in a tangible way, and the more you talk, the more feedback you get – and the more feedback, the more you properly fill the first commandment to “Know Hashem” (among many others). 

 

Instead of G-d being a King on a throne – which by definition no commoner can approach – suddenly G-d is your loving Father in Heaven, your best friend and confidant. Now that you’ve got a personal relationship, it’s so much more meaningful when you say, “G-d, I really want to serve You. Forgive me and give me good and easy conditions to continue to get closer to You!” 

 

Hence, it’s the second secret key to getting a good judgment on Rosh Hashanah.  

 

Tzedakah  Distributing Emuna 

You might be amazed to learn this, but the secret of charity is not feeding bodies (although that’s also wonderful). Rebbe Natan teaches in  Likutei  Halachot  that the perfection of charity is printing and distributing holy books. Rabbi Arush has been saying for years that “no charity touches the shoelaces of distributing emuna” and here is one of the sources for it! 

 

Now is the perfect opportunity to make distributing emuna your priority, because truly this is The Most Important Thing! 

 

And again, you can do this charity with your time, not just money by sharing this article, sharing a video from Breslev Israel or even just sending someone to our Facebook page. Even just taking a few moments to “Like” our posts enables more people to see them! 

 

So, when you are considering your donations for Rosh Hashanah, don’t forget to buy some books for yourself to give out, or let us distribute them on your behalf. We sell all the books at near cost bulk rates in order to make it easy for you to earn more merit by giving out more books, with less money.  

 

Click here to donate to Distribute Emuna, or if you want specific materials given out, email me to personally make the arrangements for you: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il. 

 

There is another very important charity that you want to have in your pocket before Rosh Hashanah – and that’s a Pidyon Nefesh with Rabbi Arush in UmanYes, Harav Arush IS in Uman and will be doing a “redemption of the soul” there Erev Rosh Hashanah with G-d’s help! In this way you get the best of both worlds – the money goes towards spreading emuna, and Rabbi Arush now becomes your lawyer before Judgment Day to help secure you a positive outcome in the Heavenly Courts. 

 

*** 

Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far-off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel.  
 

 
Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions, comments, articles, and personal stories to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il. 

 





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