Rosh Hashanah is the Yom Hadin, a day Hashem judges us and determines what will happen during the upcoming year. It would stand to reason that the Tefillos would be replete with requests for forgiveness. However, there is no vidui in Rosh Hashana davening, and we wait until Yom Kippur to say vidui to atone for our sins. Why don’t we say vidui on Rosh Hashanah?
I once heard a beautiful parable which explains the reason for our not reciting vidui on Rosh Hashanah, as well as gives us a keen insight into the essence of Rosh Hashanah. [I don’t remember where I heard this mashal, so if anyone knows where it is, if you can kindly let me know; it would be appreciated. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org].
An employer was “auditing” his employees to determine how productive they were. Upon receiving the results, the boss was enraged. He called in his secretary and said “How could you waste so many hours?! Over the last month alone you spent 14 hours on Facebook, surfing the web, and emailing friends, when you should have been working! You are fired!!”
The secretary had a choice; she could have said ‘I am sorry,’ but that would not have made a difference, since the boss was so angry at her already. Instead, she says to the boss “You are right! You have every reason to fire me. However, if you let me stay, I promise to change. I will improve my work habits this month. I will implement a filtering system on the computer which will prevent me from using Facebook and surfing the internet. I will ask people to stop by my desk periodically to ensure that I am doing my job.” Satisfied with his secretary’s new plan, the boss replied “fine- I will let you keep your job.”
We are like that secretary. Hashem gives us life in this world to fix what we need to fix, and to sanctify His name in the world. However, we mess up, and use life for purposes other than what Hashem wants of us. Then we come to Rosh Hashanah where we are called in to the Boss’s office. Now is not the time to ask for forgiveness. Now is a time to make resolutions, to take action, and to tell Hashem that we are going to be better people in the coming year, and here is our plan to make it happen. At a later point in time, it would be appropriate for the secretary to go back to the boss, and apologize for what she did wrong- which is what we do on Yom Kippur.
As we go into Rosh Hashanah, let us remember this lesson and make a plan and a resolution and promise our boss that this year will be a new year where we will be better people as we work together to sanctify the name of Hashem in this world with all of our actions.
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