Rabbi Kenneth Brander on Teshuva


Often, as we enter these months we find ourselves in the same predicament as the lantern-waver. If we’re to be honest, truly honest, many of us would have to concede that we’ve spent far too much of the year “going through the motions” while our “light inside” remained tragically unlit. To this all-too-common reality, these months of teshuva – spiritual reflection and introspection – bid us to slow down, take stock, realign our priorities, and rekindle our inner spirit.

There once was a train-track employee whose sole responsibility was to sit near a crossing and wave a lantern, signaling oncoming trains to slow down. One night, however, two trains collided, so the train company opened an investigation. Everyone including the lantern-waver was interviewed, and it was determined that all safety procedures had been followed and everyone had acted according to protocol. When the lantern-waver heard the results, he broke into tears. In between his inconsolable sobs, his family begged him to explain his strange reaction to what should have been wonderful news. Pulling himself together, the man admitted to his family that while it was true that he was, in fact, waving the lantern, no one had thought to inquire whether or not it was lit.

This is the first of three thoughts on Teshuva, Tefilla and Tzedaka from Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone

Rabbi Brander on Tefilla

Rabbi Brander on Tzedaka


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