5 Shvat 5781 / Monday, January 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bo
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Simple Words That Can Save Your Life    

Simple Words That Can Save Your Life

Who is prepared to face a serious judgment in court when the stakes are high and there is no possibility of being found innocent?


Imagine for just a moment that you are preparing to defend yourself in court. Your whole life is at stake – the DA wants to put you in jail for at least 20 years – the best years of your life spent in jail, without your family, without a connection to the world. Suddenly, a month before the big day in court, you get a phone call: The judge reviewed the case and is offering you the opportunity to correct the illegal thing you did. If you do, not only will you not have to stand in court and defend yourself, you will spare yourself the entire jail sentence, but you will even receive $1 million from the state for rectifying the situation and sparing them the expense of putting you in jail.  


What fool would not jump at the opportunity? Who would prefer going to court, knowing he has no possibility of winning the case? Especially when he would lose the reward in addition?! 


God is The Judge in the Supreme Court over the entire world. He isn’t a tyrant over His creations, He only requests from us to speak simple words from our heart – and cancel the judgments upon us completely! “If there is judgement below [meaning that we judge ourselves and repent] there is no judgment on High.”  


Hashem only requests from us to come to Him every day and say: “Master of the World, see my situation, I did this and that, I sinned in this and that, and there is no way that I will be found innocent in judgment. But You are Merciful, and You have given me an opportunity to return to You in repentance and request forgiveness. All I need to do is apologize and ask for help to do better in the future – because the Gemara says that if You do not help me, then I cannot overcome the Evil Inclination myself. Therefore, I admit to what I did, I regret it and I’m sorry – and I am requesting Your help to live totally in accordance with Your will in the future.” 


That’s it! Such a little bit of effort, with such big rewards – you won’t invest in it? Hashem requests only one hour a day. Talk to God about your spiritual level, and request forgiveness and help – and receive in return, not only to be saved from the punishment, the fear, and the shame – but also huge bonuses, blessings and salvations without end! 


The reality is, that we also see a lot of people and know of a lot of situations where a person is already suffering and in a difficult situation. However, even here, repentance helps!  


Let’s imagine now, that you have already started to serve your 20-year jail sentence. One day, a lawyer comes to you with the following offer: “You have been selected to be part of a special trial group, where instead of the standard time in jail, you will do community service. You can live a regular life, but every day you must set aside an hour to check back in with the police. For your work, you will receive a monthly stipend, plus a new apartment to live in. Do you want to be part of the new project?” 


Every single one of us would obviously jump at the opportunity. Who would respond, “Oh, that’s too much time. I can’t manage that every day. I work really hard; I don’t have that kind of time...” 


Hashem makes us an amazing offer: Take upon yourself one hour a day at whatever time is convenient for you, to be alone in any place that is comfortable for you, just to speak to Me. Tell me about everything that you did, and everything that happened to you, from your meeting with Me yesterday until now. The simplest thing in the world! I am full of mercy for anyone who asks forgiveness and assistance. However, I don’t forget not even the smallest sin, and you have not just one, but many, many big files filled with sins. One way or another, they must be dealt with. What’s your choice? 


Is it possible to be so totally foolish as to turn down such an offer? 


Surely you have the most basic belief that for every sin, a person will be punished. God is the true Judge and you cannot do whatever you want in this world without consequences. Everyone sins every day, and on every sin, the punishment is much, much worse than 20 years in jail... the Heavenly Court is no monkey business. 


Trust me, anyone who has ever had a taste of court, knows full well the seriousness of the situation at hand. This is no time for niceties. You need something that will certainly save you from the long arm of the law.  


So - who among us is prepared to refuse the incredible offer of repentance in favor of paying the stiff price of sin? How can you possibly choose a life of suffering and pain, and push away infinite blessings with your own two hands? 


It is so simple – no deep concepts here. Just simple words – that have the power to save your life! And save the world as well! 


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