As we approach Rosh HaShana 5779, and head into a month permeated by the Jewish festivals that impact our entire year, we are reminded that in one moment, one action, one speech, even with one thought, a person can change the entire trajectory of their life.
The vast majority of our endeavors take time, and are not ensured of success, even after exerting much effort.
Yet a Jewish person has the ability, with proper resolve and determination, in 'one moment', to rectify completely all failures and deficiencies, and to resolve to strengthen all successes and harness all strengths.
This called 'Teshuvah'.
As many of you know, I donated a kidney 1½ months ago. Why? Who? How? Whaaat?
You'll have to come to services or better yet, a Shabbos meal to get the story. But the most important lesson I came away with through the entire process is something that I in fact knew all along, and actually lived by, yet now realize as a deeper reality. That is - 'live in the moment'.
'Living in the moment' might seem cliché, and it does not mean #yolo or divorcing oneself from reality or responsibilities. The opposite is true. It means it means actualizing that which you are meant to do at every given moment.
It was revealed to me that I had an ability (that I might argue came with a responsibility). I was given a task, not easy. None of which I knew of before, yet when confronted with this reality - would I answer the call? I now seek to apply these conditions to every situation in my life.
By removing all constraints of the past, leaving the future, to well, the future, and concentrating sincerely on one's rai·son d'ê·tre - reason for being - we embue life with purpose, resolve and meaning.
"How?", you may ask.
'Teshuvah' is perhaps the most powerful tool we have in achieving the best of ourselves.
Through earnest introspection, profound regret and the greatest of joy we can transcend the element of time and the whole physical world, and in 'one moment' it transforms the entire past and sets the proper stage for the whole future.
We are given this capability to by G-d, and it's special preeminence is accentuated this time of year before and during the High Holidays. Though one can do 'Teshuvah' all year long, this time of year is set aside for our return to our roots and essence.
When we hasten to do 'Teshuvah', immediately we experience redemption. We are assured that G-d 'reciprocates in kind' and in a most generous measure.
May G-d's blessing pour down without limit, overflowing! That all good resolutions be fulfilled entirely and in the most complete measure, increasing further into being "Inscribed and sealed for good" for us and all Israel.
Blessings for L'Shana Tova, for a good and sweet year materially and spiritually,
Rabbi Chanan Krivisky