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Short, Inspiring Quote on Rosh HaShana

By Baruch Gordon
9/8/2010, 12:00 AM

I share with you below an excerpt from "The Art of T'shuva," a book by Rabbi David Samson and Tzvi Fishman on the writings of Rabbi A. Y. Kook on t'shuva (penitence). Take 60 seconds to read it and be inspired! 
May you have a happy Rosh HaShana holiday, and may all your prayers be heard and accepted in the best possible way. Shana Tova

From "Art of T'shuva"
"Amongst the many eye-opening revelations on t'shuva [penitence] in Rabbi Kook's writings, one concept is especially staggering in its profundity. Usually we think that a process is completed when it reaches its end. We experience a feeling of satisfaction when we finish a project. An underlying tension often accompanies our work until it is accomplished. This is because the final goal is considered more important than the means.
"Most people feel the same way about t'shuva. Until the process of t'shuva is complete, they feel unhappy, anxious, overwhelmed with the wrongdoings which they have been unable to redress.

When will I finally rectify my character faults?

Rabbi Kook tells us that this perspective is wrong. When it comes to t'shuva, the goal is not the most important thing. It is the means which counts.
"Success in t'shuva is not measured by the final score at the end of the game. It is measured by the playing. The striving for good is goodness itself. The striving for perfection is what perfects, in and of itself…
"By understanding the depth of this teaching, we can learn to be happy, not only when we attain our goals and ideals, but also at every moment of our lives."