20 Tishrei 5782 / Sunday, September 26, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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Choose Your Passport

When we see how a man’s actions are judged by his fellow man versus how he is judged by Hashem, we see the lie unfold and the Truth revealed…


The world we live in is a lie. The only Truth is Hashem. When we see how a man’s actions are judged by his fellow man versus how he is judged by Hashem, we see the lie unfold and the Truth revealed.


We have a choice between living under man's jurisdiction or under Hashem's. Before you decide which passport you prefer, consider this:


How a Man is Judged by Man in Today’s Standards


* Sins are weapons used against you forever. One small slip- up and "anything you do or say can be used against you” in a court of public opinion, whether friends, co-workers, a prospective employer or client, even family. People look for tweets you made 15 years ago to slip you up. One small misstep and it will feel like a hammer over your head for the rest of your life.


* What is considered evil is subject to wide interpretation. Case in point: a loyal worker does his job for 20 years. He is promoted to manager. He is fair, hard-working, and sets a good example. Everybody respects him. One employee makes a few mistakes, so he corrects her. The people in the group start joking that he is now a taskmaster. Playing along, he fakes an arm motion as if he is cracking the whip. It was a harmless joke done in good cheer, made all the more ironic because he is the exact opposite type of person.


The lady files a claim against him for racism, claiming she felt like a 19th century slave. She is promoted to his job, and he is demoted to hers.


* You are never forgiven. A sin becomes a scar; it’s there forever. If in your 20s you were ignorant about treating other people with respect, and then made teshuva and developed the highest respect for women and people different from you, many in our society will still call you "chauvinistic" or "racist", no matter how long and hard you worked on yourself to become a better person.


You never get the chance to grow. It's as if you are forever judged and pigeonholed on your worst day.


How do we know we are living in the End of Days when Satan is in control? Today’s society can harass a person into believing that any type of repentance is pointless, and the only conclusion for humanity is total despair.


How Hashem Judges All of Us


Hashem’s world is this world. The only difference is that instead of celebs being the ultimate authorities, we know there is one True Sovereign over this world, and that is Hashem. He is the only Arbiter of everything we do and His opinion is all that matters.


Once we act according to this one simple rule, “I am Hashem, Your God” (Exodus 20:2, the First Commandment), the Laws of Mistakes change.


* Punishments aren’t meted out to destroy you; they are there to benefit you. Punishments are temporary and productive. Hashem will “punish” us to let us know we need to fix things. He doesn’t do it to hurt us or hold us back. He does it so we will change our life’s trajectory and get back on course. He does it so we can enjoy the benefits of these changes.


* There is a standard for right and wrong, and it never changes. In society, morals change like fads. What was abominable 30 years ago has become desirable today. Things sensible people wouldn’t dare do in public are now done in plain sight. But the Torah is unchanging. There is no fluctuation of right and wrong. What was the moral standard for Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov are the same requirements for you and me. What we do may change, but what we are supposed to do never will.


* You can be forgiven. A sin is like a bruise; it can be healed to the point that it was never there. You can rehabilitate the wounded area to the point that it is even stronger than the rest of your body.


You can make mistakes. Instead of dead weights on your shoulders for as long as you live, they are springboards beneath your feet, propelling you to greater heights. A sin can be downgraded to a mistake, which can then be upgraded to a learning experience, which can be crystalized as a catalyst to a mitzvah.


You can grow. You can fix things. You can conclude that the only requirement to change yourself and overcome failure is the capacity to draw your next breath.


How do we know we are living in the End of Days where Ben David’s arrival is imminent? It feels impossible to take that next step; the overall impact on the universe is off the charts. Every positive act we do empowers us beyond belief.


Which world do you want to live in? To enter G-d’s world, simply take His oath of citizenship:


Hear O Israel, Hashem is G-d, Hashem is One. Blessed is His Name and His Great Kingdom Forever and Ever.


Elul is the time to choose, and renew if need be, our spiritual passports. Thank goodness it's Hashem Who will be doing the judging on Rosh Hashanah.


* * *

David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his wife and children. Since moving to Israel in 2002, David has discovered Torah, writing hi-tech, hiking, coding ReactJS Apps, and hearing stories about the Land of Israel from anyone excited to tell them. Check him out on Highway 60 or email him your favorite Israel story at: 


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