Teshuvah With a Bang by Tzvi Atkin


In Selichot, we say, “KeDalim UChrashim Dafaknu Delatecha,” “As paupers and beggars we bang on your doors.”  An obvious question arises from this Tefillah: paupers and beggars go around collecting money in shame and embarrassment.  They wouldn’t dare have the audacity to knock loudly and presumptuously on people’s doors, but would rather do so weakly, overcome with humiliation.  Why, then, do we say that we are knocking on Hashem’s doors?  Who are we to have the nerve to come before Hashem without shame and disgrace?

Rav Shalom Schwadron ZT”L, the famed Maggid of Yerushalayim, offers a powerful explanation of this statement.  He says that there comes a time when even poor people bang on doors – in a time of great need and desperation.  Down to his very last bit of strength, the poor person will do anything to get the help that he needs, and will find himself pounding down the doors of anyone who can be a source of help to him.

This, explains Rav Schwadron, is the state in which we find ourselves before HaKadosh Baruch Hu in the Asseret Yemei Teshuvah.  We are reaching our last drop of strength and, in our desperation, we are left with no choice but to “bang on Hashem’s doors,” begging him to have mercy on and forgive us.

Now, with less than a week left until our decrees for the year are sealed, is the time when we need to cry out in Teshuvah before the Ribbino Shel Olam.  We have to pour out our hearts to Him and beg Him to accept our Tefillot and Bakashot.  We are left with no choice but to bang on His doors; time is running out.


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