Can the Rav give us some specific advice for us to work on in order to be zoicheh ba’din next week?
What advice can I give you as hachanah for Rosh Hashanah?! I was speaking about this for the last hour [TAPE E-247 “Greater Than the Universe”]. You have to learn what’s important in the eyes of Hashem. Learn what’s really important. That’s the hachanah for Rosh Hashanah.
“V’el zeh abit, el ani u’nichei ruach, v’chareid al di’vorai.”[Yeshai’ah 66-2] “Chareid“ means Orthodox – a chareidi. If you’re a frum Jew, that’s what’s important in the eyes of Hashem. It’s not just agav urcha. You have to learn that. It’s not enough to say it. You have say it so many times that you begin to believe it. The frum Jew is the most important thing in the eyes of Hashem.
The Nobel Prize is not important. The Vice President is not important. Suppose they would offer you the Nobel Prize. It means nothing. And it would be a sakanah. It would make you crazy for nothing. Look what happened to Senator Lieberman. Now, Lieberman says that intermarriage is permissible. Can you imagine such a thing? He wants to be Vice-President and all of a sudden intermarriage is mutar. The idea of being Vice-President can turn any body’s head. It’s a sakanah. The Noble Prize is a sakanah. Because you’re being chosen for what the world makes out to be important. But, Boruch Hashem, Hakodosh Boruch Hu says to us, “I have chosen you for something really important. I have made you my beloved ones.” “Banim atem la’shem Elokeichem.” “You are my children,” says Hashem. And knowing that, is the first step in preparing for Rosh Hashanah. And that should be enough for you to decide that you’re going to do the will of Hashem. That’s the hachanah for Rosh Hashanah – to think about what’s important in the eyes of Hashem. To do the ratzon Hashem according to what He told us in His Torah.
Of course, in order to know that, you’ll have to listen. People today don’t know what Torah is. I’m speaking about the frumma. They don’t know what the Torah is saying. You have to listen to what the Torah is teaching us and you have to know all the details. You have to learn the details as much as you can.
You can’t do teshuva if you don’t know which direction to turn. If a person wants to travel someplace, he has to have some details in order to set out. Say he leaves New York but he doesn’t know which direction to go – North or South. It’s not enough to just leave in your car and start driving out of the city. Where are you going to?! “Lo yadah la’leches el ir.” He doesn’t know to which town he has to go to, to do teshuva. You have to know how to do teshuva. It’s not an easy task. You have to learn what Hakodosh Boruch Hu wants from you. It’s not enough to just rely on what you remember from your Rebbi in cheder. It’s not enough to hear a drasha on Shabbos Shuva. You have to learn the details of developing a Torah mind.
So if you listen to Hakodosh Boruch Hu’s words you’ll succeed. And you’ll find them in the Mesillas Yesharim. Mesillas Yesharim is an excellent guidebook. Chovos Ha’levavos is an excellent guidebook as well. Sha’arei Teshuva is a wonderful guidebook. You have to learn the seforim. And now is an excellent time to begin.
Don’t say, “Someday I’ll do it.” Do it right now. Right now, because that’s what Hashem wants from you.