Why does Yom Kippur come after Rosh Hashana? Wouldn’t it be better to do teshuva before Yom Hadin?
And the answer is, Yom Kippur is only the end of teshuva – Rosh Hashana is the chief teshuva. As was explained here previously, Rosh Hashana is teshuva for forgetting about Hashem, for forgetting that Hashem Melech. That’s paramount! That’s the most important teshuva we have to do. You have to spend Rosh Hashana thinking about the idea that Hakodosh Boruch Hu created the world. That He is the Master of the universe, that He is the King of everything.
It takes a long time to get that into our heads and every year we have to renew that idea. That’s the main teshuva. And all the rest are only details. So after we finish the great teshuva of emunah in a Borei, in a Melech who controls the universe and everything is under His supreme wisdom, then we’re ready to do teshuva on the details, on this cheit and that cheit. That’s the business of Aseres Yimei Teshuva and Yom Kippur. But first comes the day of the biggest teshuva, of coming back to this most important concept of Hashem Melech.
TAPE # 524 (August 1984)