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Saving or Spending?

Thursday, 3 October, 2019 - 8:21 pm

Ever look at the bottom of the receipt when you go shopping? It will often state the amount of money you saved by purchasing your groceries, clothing or furniture.

Obviously, this is somewhat of a misnomer. Everyone likes a good deal – but the greatest savings comes from no deal at all! When you shop, you spend money. But, the marketing experts have figured out that you would feel better focusing on the money you saved rather than the hole in your wallet.

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In this week’s parsha Vayelech the Torah predicts that the Jewish people will forsake the Torah but will ultimately embrace it again.

This process is particularly relevant this time of year. We now find ourselves in the Ten Days of Teshuva. At this time of repentance, we are often overwhelmed by the need to make amends and improve ourselves. We think of repentance and imagine a G-d that is disappointed with us.

But, in reality, the more accurate translation for teshuva is return. All G-d wants is for us to return to Him and to return to our own true selves. He is celebrating our inner self, praying that it will emerge. During the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, Hashem is laser-focused on finding the good in us.

At our core, we are all holy and pure. Teshuva means returning to our origin. In our original state we are perfect.

In this sense, teshuva is a gift. It is the gift of rising above our external selves and getting in touch with our genuine self.

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The marketing gurus may be pulling a bit of a fast one on us. But, when it comes to teshuva, we really are receiving more than we are giving.

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