Consider Yourself by Dani Yaros


In Parshat Nitzavim, the Torah presents a mini Tochacha (admonition), listing all the punishments that will befall Bnei Yisrael if they do not keep the Torah. At the conclusion of this Tochacha (Devarim 30:1), Hashem says “When all of these things (the aforementioned curses) come upon you…and you will return to your heart…” Why does the Torah tell us that our goal will be to return to our hearts? Shouldn’t our goal to be to return to Hashem, rather than our hearts, which so often lead us astray? The Seforno answers that if a person honestly thinks about the Torah, he will undoubtedly come to the understanding that the Torah was in fact given by Hashem at Har Sinai, causing him to feel the need to repent.

A question arises from this. If it is so easy and simple to understand the Torah’s importance and truthfulness, why are there many Jews who do not keep the Torah and do not believe that the Torah was written by Hashem? The Gemara answers that the Satan puts an immense amount of pressure on each of us at all times and never gives us a real opportunity to sit down and consider what our goals are in the world. We can learn from this that one must always be very careful to keep the Mitzvot and, as the Messilat Yesharim says, “every single day one must sit down even for just a few minutes and consider if he is following the Torah to its fullest and if there is any element to his personality that he could change for the better.”

Rosh HaShanah is fast approaching with our recitation of Selichot beginning this Motzai Shabbat. Let us learn from the Seforno and the Messilat Yesharim; let each of us, for just a few minutes when we are alone at night, consider our deeds and not let the Satan get ahead of us. May it be Hashem’s will that, through this new outlook on our daily lives, we be granted a sweet new year in addition to the betterment of the situation in Israel.

Now That's a Mitzvah by Rabbi Avi Pollak

The Magnitude of Teshuvah by Joseph Jarashow