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Ten Days of Repentance


5761 (1) This story is really about the first night of Slichot (prayers said in the month before Rosh HaShanah to prepare for that holiday) but it is very relevant to the prayers of the entire year, especially Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.
5761 (2) In the time of the Holy Temple, Yom Kippur was centered on one man; the Cohen Gadol. He alone entered the Holy of Holies and did all the work while the rest of the Jewish people spent the entire day waiting outside of the Bait HaMikdosh for him to finish.
5763 This Shabbat, Shabbat Tshuva, we prepare ourselves for the Holiest day of the year, Yom HaKipurim; The day that G-d not only forgives all who return to Him as He does the entire year, but also inspires everyone to return. This week's Torah Section reminds us that the Jewish people are a very unique nation. WE are a portion of G-d and don't need intermediaries like the other nations. (32:9).
5764 This Shabbat is called Shabbat Tshuva (repentance) because it falls in the 'Ten Days of Repentance': the two days of Rosh HaShanna, one day of Yom HaKippurim and the seven days in between them. On this Shabbat we also read the final warning of Moses to the Jews, which is strangely called a 'Song' (31:19, 22, 30).
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