The Most Powerful Week of the Year
It is brought down in many Sefarim that in the last week of the year we can fix the entire year! "Sofo mareh al t'chilaso - the end reflects on the beginning". So, for example, this Shabbos we can fix all the Shabbosim of the past year. And with this coming Sunday, we can fix all the Sunday's of the past year, and so on. What an awesome opportunity!
So let's all make a serious effort to do a proper Teshuvah this week!
Teshuvah? That sounds scary...
Well, what really is Teshuvah?
A man once came to Reb Nachman of Breslav and told him that he doesn't hold by doing teshuvah because he knows that he'll just go back to doing the same things again. Reb Nachman answered him that Teshuvah is not about not doing the same sins again, but rather it's all about bringing Hashem down into the world and into our hearts. Every soul is a peice of Hashem and is connected to Him, but our sins make a blockage between the light of Hashem and us. When we say Viddui and confess our sins, it helps us remove the heavy "shell" that our sins have caused, and this allows the light of Hashem to flow down into the world and into us. Teshuvah is not about beating ourselves up over our past, but rather about LIVING for Hashem's honor in the present. The more we seek to bring Hashem's honor and glory down to the world, the more Teshuvah we do! Automatically, all the past sins are forgiven, and automatically, we won't end up repeating our past mistakes.