How should one prepare for the Yomim Nora’im?
“נחפשה דרכינו ונחקרה – Let’s search into our ways and investigate.” We say that every Monday and Thursday, but nobody does it. Let’s search out our ways! Did anybody stop and spend three minutes thinking about these ways? So you see people are saying words that they don’t even think about. Now, they’re not insincere; they’re not dishonest. They just don’t know what they’re talking about. “נחפשה דרכינו – Let’s search out our ways.” It’s very important to spend a few moments thinking about yourself.
But now the big question arises – do you know what to think? He hasn’t the slightest idea what to think! If you don’t study the chochmas ha’yirah, the wisdom of becoming aware of Hashem, you will not discover anything. You’ll discover how many wrong things people did to you, yes. But what you did to others, you will never see.
And therefore, even before you’re able to make חיפוש דרכים, it’s important to learn the chochma of yirah. You won’t succeed otherwise. It’s like a man looking for something. You ask him, “What are you looking for?” He doesn’t know. He’s looking but he doesn’t know what he’s looking for. And therefore, before you start searching you have to discover what to search for. Then you’ll discover the very many things that you didn’t even dream that you possess. Then, when you’ll search you’ll find that you have them.
That’s why it’s so important to hear, so important to learn the chochmas ha’yirah. Many things don’t even occur to you that it’s a cheit. Like we spoke about tonight; when people are careless of their health, they certainly didn’t suspect themselves of being oiver on anything at all. When people were to blame for the death of their children, it doesn’t occur to them it was their own fault. When the parent allowed their child to walk on the roads in the country, that parent is guilty in dinei nefashos. And even though actually nothing happened, nevertheless, the sin was done. We shouldn’t look at what actually did not happen, but look at what could have happened. הלכות רוצח ושמירת הנפש says you are responsible for what could have happened. And therefore, if you never studied that, it wouldn’t occur to you.
But even when it did happen chalilah, the parent doesn’t even think it’s his fault. He blames Hakodosh Boruch Hu: אולת אדם תסלף דרכו – The foolishness of a man causes his way to become crooked in life; it causes him trouble. But he doesn’t blame himself. ועל השם יזעף לבו – his mind is angry at Hashem. Even if he’s not angry at Hashem; he is saying, “Hashem, I know you do it to punish me.” That’s called being angry at Hashem. Hashem says, “Why are you blaming Me?! Don’t say I am punishing you; you did it yourself.” Therefore, it’s only when people understand what it means to be aware of Hashem, to know what Hashem means then these people are ready for the Yomim Nora’im.
TAPE # 840