Not so simple!
Two weeks to go! Two weeks and the world stands to be judged! The righteous have been trembling from before Elul, worried at the impending judgement that is to befall the world.

Yet Rabbi Shimon Ben Lakish said, even the empty ones of Israel are as full of Mitzvot as a pomegranate is filled with seeds.” (Eruvin19). So it seems that we all have Mitzvot behind us and we have nothing to worry about when it comes to Rosh Hashanah!?
Not only are we full of Mitzvot, but our sins also seem to be watered down.
Rabenu Yona says in Shaarei Teshuva (1:9) that when a person has remorse and sorrow over having performed a sin, then this helps reduce the effect of that sin.
So what are we all worried about? We have done so many Mitzvot, and as for all the sins, well I am sure that we regret having performed them. Hashem is guaranteed to give us a great year!? Or perhaps the picture isn’t so rosy… .

Let us turn to our Parsha for some guidance.
Happiness is something we all seek.
In this weeks Parsha we are told where the real happiness is.
Vehaya Ki Tavo El Haaretz – and it shall be when you enter the land.
I once heard from a great sage in Yerushalayim that the Gemara states Ein Vehaya Ela Lashon Simcha – whenever the torah uses the word Vehaya it is referring to a matter of happiness. So how does that fit in with this weeks Parsha? He stated that the torah is hinting here that real happiness can only be found in Eretz Yisrael – if you want Vehaya – happiness, it will occur when you come to the land of Israel.
In fact the Ramban on the Pasuk Viyrishta Veyashavta Bah (Devarim 26;1) states that it is a mitzvah from the torah to live in the land of Israel.
That means for all those of us who are Zoche to be in Israel, every second we are fulfilling a mitzvah from the Torah!

Wow what a merit. It seems so easy. But things are not as they seem. Let me explain with a small Mashal. There was an outstanding student in maths that was so clever the school allowed him to take his A Level maths at the age of 8. His teachers were amazed at his wisdom and he was guaranteed to get an A for his A Level. The student studied day and night for months preparing for the big day. He sat the exam in confidence and was sure that he had achieved the A. yet when the results came through, he was saddened. He did not receive any result. What happened? When they enquired to the marking board, they were told that all the papers were marked, and it must be that the kid never put his name on the paper. A paper without a name would never be marked!
What a shame, what a waist, but the child knew everything! Nevertheless not writing his name was as if he never took the exam.
We are all full of Mitzvot. We are all performing day and night prayers, charity, Berachot, Torah. Baruch Hashem! But if we don’t write our name, how is it going to be marked? The Shulchan Aruch (OH 60) states that Mitzvot Tsrichot Kavana – Mitzvot need intention. We need to concentrate before performing Mitzvot, we need to ready ourselves to the fact that we are about to perform a commandment of our Creator. That little extra intention and preparation makes all the difference.
A man can live in Israel all his life, he can be performing a positive commandment, yet he will not receive an inkling of the reward of someone who lives in Israel with the constant intent that he is performing the Will of our Creator.

Our Parsha teaches us that the person bringing the Bikurim must recall how our ancestors screamed out in prayer and tears to Hashem and how He heard our voice. (Devarim 26:6-7)
A young man came running into the synagogue crying and picked up a Sefer Tehillim (A Book of Psalms) and started reciting passionately for a while. A man standing near by asked the fellow what had been the emergency that delivered him to the sudden moment of prayer. The young man answered that he had been in great pain about some personal issue and it had brought him to tears. He found himself crying. In the midst of the episode he realized something important.
How often do we pray without being personally engaged, without feelings!? Even if we try with all our heart, too often it doesn't happen. "Now," he said, "that the wellsprings of deep personal emotions were producing genuine tears, I decided to hurry myself to a prayer book so that the opportunity should not go to waste."

The Gemara Ketuvot (50a) states Oseh Tsedaka Bechol Et – who is the person who performs Tsedaka constantly – this refers to a man supporting his wife and children.
That means that most men with families are performing constant Tsedaka. Do they even realise this? Do they stop to think for a second they are performing Hashem’s commandment? This is the extra infusion that we need to make, we need to add intent into our prayers, intention into our actions and this will help activate our Mitzvot.
Only then can we come confident in front of Hashem on Rosh Hashanah.

Lirfuat Chava Ahuva Bat Glika
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Shaul Yonatan Tawil

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