Message from Rabbi Ochs
Rosh HaShanah 5763
We are once again approaching the Yomim Noraim, the days of awe. Our sages refer to these days as yamei harachomim v’harotzon – days of mercy and appeasement. Moshe Rabbeinu ascended Har Sinai for the third and final time on Rosh Chodesh Elul. He descended 40 days later on Yom Kippur with the second set of luchos. At that time Hakodesh Baruch Hu granted forgiveness to the Bnei Yisroel for the sin of the golden calf. Hence, these days have been designated as days of forgiveness and repentance. This concept of slicha – forgiveness – is a manifestation of Hashem’s great kindness to us. He grants us an opportunity to repent and erase our past deeds without paying the consequences. However, our sages tell us that this procedure is not automatic. Rather, we must take the initiative; we must make the first step. Once this occurs, Hashem helps us the rest of the way. The name Elul is an acronym for the phrase "ani l’dodi v’dodi li" – I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me. If we take the initiative – displaying that we belong to Hashem – "our beloved" – then Hashem responds in turn, v’dodi li – my beloved one is to me. I hope you and your family had a happy and healthy summer. I wish you a kasiva and chasima tova and a gut gebenshte yor.