The Psalmist insists that God has removed our sins “as far as east is from west.” (Ps. 103:12). How far is east from west? The Kotzker Rebbe explains — as far as a turn of your head.
We think of changing as a remote, difficult task. But sometimes it requires only a small turn. Veer slightly on the road, and over time one’s destination is quite different. Adding to one habit, or diminishing another, is a small turn that over time becomes a major change.
We read in Deuteronomy that Israel will be “only high and not low” (28:13). Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer explains: If you drop a stone, it falls to earth because that is its origin. If you light a fire, it leaps up because it is nourished by air above. Everything seeks its source. The soul longs to return to God, to soar, to rise. Teshuvah means return — to reconnect with our Source. All you need to do is turn your head and redirect your heart. May this be a year of repentance, health and joy.