The Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of Return. We are taught that keeping this Shabbat in a stronger and more careful way can make up for all the Shabbats of the year. That seems a bit hypocritical, no? Not being careful with Shabbat throughout the year and then upping your game on this one.
The Almighty knows that we are human beings who are flawed, who get distracted, who buckle under social pressure– welcome to life! We just heard the shofar blow– the alarm clock for the soul.
“Wake up, wake up, you sleepers from your slumber.” Maimonidies
For a lot of the year, we go through the motions, following trends, wasting time, eating and drinking things that are not good for us, spending money foolishly, gossiping, getting up, working, getting up, working…..wake up!
You are not being a hypocrite by taking the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and raising the bar in your life. You are sending a clear message to G-d and yourself: “If I could be at this level every day, I would. But I am flawed. Once a year, I want to show You how I really feel about You, and who I really want to be– good, honest, productive, caring, generous, spiritual….”
Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls– this is it! Yom Kippur is but days away, and we must rise as we have never risen before, for this year just being alive should fill us with the deepest gratitude. Alive is potential; G-d has given us more time; let’s get a taste of what life could be, what this Shabbat could be.