Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Turn our faces to God instead of our backs.”

In the days before the great day of forgiveness and pardon, Yom Kippur, we are all called upon to do teshuva.

We stand laden with our sins, both small and great, hoping for God’s mercy.

We stand laden with our suffering and pain, longing for the wellspring of consolation.

Knowing that we cannot justify our actions during the past year, we can only hope for mercy, forgiveness, and pardon.

Indeed, that is the role of Yom Kippur – to forgive, pardon, and atone.

Only one thing is required of us: to desire forgiveness, to turn our faces to God instead of our backs.

God summons each of us with the call and the promise: “Return to Me, and I will return to you.”

God calls to each one of us, wherever he is, to return to Him, to draw near to Him, to take refuge under His protecting wings.

In teshuva, no one is far and no one is near; what applies to the near applies equally to the very distant.

God calls out even to those who gloomily imagine that they are as remote as can be.

To them, too, He promises the grace of His emanation, the light of His forgiveness, and the wholeness of unity with Him.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz