Eretz Yisrael Atones

From the verb "shuv", "tshuvah" means "return".

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7

During this season we recite from the Machzor: U'teshuva u'tefilla u'tzedaka ma'avirin et ro'a hagezera - "Repentance, prayer and charity remove the evil [part] of the verdict."

Due to the perilous situation in Eretz Israel during the past year many of us implemented the above well before Elul, the month of repentance which precedes the Yamim Nora'im. Surely, the outpouring of our prayers and the charitable acts on behalf of our brethren (and ourselves!) in danger had an effect On High.

Hopefully, many Jews both in Israel and in the Diaspora have already earned the right to have their "verdicts" improved. We can only hope that our ongoing sincere prayers and acts of kindness during this season will help to inscribe us in the Books of Good Life, Redemption and Salvation, Sustenance and Support, Merits, and
God uses the resolutions we make today as "post-dated checks".
Forgiveness and Pardon.

Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that the very first ingredient listed above is "repentance", from the verb shuv, which means "return". Clearly, this implies that it is of utmost importance that we "return" to the ways of God and His Torah, in order to receive His forgiveness and the promise of a good year to come.

It also behooves us to recall that the same verb shuv is used countless times in reference to our "returning" to our Land. Indeed, both ideas are intertwined at the end of the Haftarah for the second day of Rosh HaShanah. We would do well at this time to remember that "whoever lives in Eretz Israel is sinless" (Ketubot 110b), "Eretz Israel atones" (ibid. 111a), and "whoever walks four cubits in Eretz Israel is assured of a place in the world-to-come" (ibid.).

Lest one say, "Isn't it too late to act?" - it is nice to know, as Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky states in his Derech Sicha, that God uses the resolutions we make today as "post-dated checks" to credit our Yom Kippur account as of now.

Tichleh shana vekileloteha; tachel shana u'virchoteha - May the coming year bring us only blessings.
Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Iskowitz, a retired US Army chaplain, has been living with his family in Jerusalem since 1988. His most recent translations for Feldheim Publishers are Aneni: Special Prayers and Tehillim: Eis Ratzon.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.