Trust and Repentance
Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gabirol describes the process of repentance as escaping and fleeing from God to God. When we realize the weight of God’s judgment and the evil of sin we recognize that we need to escape. But there is only one place to run and that is to take shelter in God Himself. And God promises to protect and preserve those who trust in Him and only in Him (Nahum 1:7; Psalm 18:31).
Trusting in God means trusting in no one and in nothing else. Not in our works, not in our merits, not in our strength or wealth, not in the blood of any sacrifice and certainly not in the works of someone who claimed to be sinless. God told Moses that he will have compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19). If someone looks to God and to God alone for compassion then that is where God’s compassion will be found. If someone looks elsewhere for compassion – such as to the claims of a “perfect sacrifice” or to the works of a person who walked God’s earth and breathed God’s air like you or me – then God will tell you to go to that person to find your compassion. And anyone who breathed God’s air is just as needy for God’s compassion as you are (Isaiah 2:22).
In this spirit and as part of Eternal Israel’s worship we address God with the following words in the Yom Kippur liturgy:
“We are Your nation and You are our God.
We are Your children and You are our Father.
We are Your servants and You are our Master.
We are Your congregation and You are our portion.
We are Your inheritance and You are our lot.
We are Your sheep and You are our Shepherd.
We are Your vineyard and You are our Keeper.
We are Your handiwork and You are our Creator.
We are Your spouse and You are our Beloved.
We are Your treasure and You are our God.
We are Your nation and You are our King.
We are Your distinguished ones and You are our Distinction.
We are brazen-faced and You are merciful and gracious.
We are stiff-necked and You are slow to anger.
We are filled with iniquity and You are filled with compassion.
We – our days are like a fleeting shadow and Your years will never end.”
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal