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The King's Coffers: Walk right in!

By Rabbi Lazer Brody
9/5/2010, 12:00 AM

The Mishna teaches (tractate Avos, 4:17) that an hour of Teshuva (penitence) and good deeds in this world is worth more than the entire World to Come, yet a minute in the World to Come is more sublime than all the pleasures of this world combined.

From the above Mishna, we learn that every moment of Teshuva, Torah learning, and charitable deeds is an asset of indescribable value that can never be taken away from a person.

Imagine that you have 120 seconds inside the King's coffers. The King has given you a big burlap sack, and whatever you can grab in the designated two minutes is yours for ever. Once inside, you can shovel into your sack all the gold, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds that you can; once your time's up, you pick up your sack and leave, a multimillionaire forever.

Now imagine that once inside the King's coffers, somebody approaches you and asks you what's going on in Afghanistan. Somebody else approaches you and invites you to watch Star Wars. A third person yells that you're missing the action of the playoff game, and a fourth person wants to share the latest juicy gossip with you. Would you listen to these people? No way! You'd ignore them and keep on throwing 5-karat diamonds into your sack. Each second counts, and the clock keeps on ticking. Soon, the time's up...

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We all hope to live until 120, yet we know that the years flash by ever so quickly. In that respect, our term of duty on this earth is like 120 seconds inside the King's coffers. If we use our time wisely, we can accumulate timeless assets of Torah, tshuva, and good deeds, whose value in the World to Come defies all description. When we waste our time in idle gossip or in meaningless pastimes, we're simply squandering each valuable moment that The King of Kings - Hashem our Creator - has granted us on this earth. The worst fires of purgatory is the embarrassment a soul experiences when it reaches the next world and discovers that its golden opportunity inside the King's coffers - that is, on this earth - was wasted on nonsense and idle pastimes of no consequence.

These days of Teshuva, from now until Rosh Hashana and the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is a unique invitation to enter the King's coffers. Here's a chance - grab it while you can! 

Blessings for an inscription in the Book of Life for a wonderful New Year 5771.