Turn, Turn, Turn

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.

About the Author
Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California.