Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Netzovim-Vayeilech - 5780
A POSITIVE RESTART
Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach.
It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?”
No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.
These words from Pareshat Nitzavim, according to many commentators, refer to the Mitzvah of Teshuva.
Repentance must be viewed as something doable. A belief that Teshuva is to completely change overnight, is a mistake. The Torah does not ask us to do the impossible.
However, for a person to identify areas of their behaviour that can benefit from some level of improvement is very much doable, and that is what the Torah is telling us to do. It is indeed the task of this season.
For some, it might be more mindfulness during Tefilah, and for others it means an improvement in Averot that are the byproduct of speech.
Let us all focus on the achievable, and not be preoccupied with the impossible.
In the merit of our Teshuva we should see salvation and comfort, faster than what we could have ever imagined.