I received a Dvar Torah, via Frum.org by Rabbi Lazer Brody.
Rabbi Brody says:
"King Solomon, the wisest of all men said (Proverbs 19:3), "A person's foolishness corrupts his way, and then his heart rages at Hashem." In other words, people break Hashem's commandments, which are designed for their own mental, spiritual, and emotional welfare, and then blame Hashem for their troubles.
The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a, with his razor-sharp wit and uncanny insight, defines a fool as someone who murders his own father and then asks mercy from the court because he's an orphan.
In the remaining hours before Yom Kippur, our holy Day of Atonement, we need to spend a few moments alone with ourselves for some candid soul-searching. Most of our difficulties in life can be traced to a breach in our relationship with G-d. We fail to do Hashem's will as prescribed by Jewish Law. We look for comfort-zone religion, paying more attention to our inane desires and appetites rather than the needs of our soul. We compromise on the Torah's commandments, and then foul up. Similar to the fool described by King Solomon and the Melitzer Rebbe, we botch things up and then ask for mercy."
These words are so true. After reading the above this morning, while I was davening, I realized that what I feel the worst about, in my relationship with Hashem this year, is my arrogance in thinking that I know what is correct for me better than Hashem does. My arrogance in throwing away the mitzvos because I think that they are too hard, or not so important, or not for me.
Thank G-d, Rabbi Brody goes on:
"Now, understand what an infinitely compassionate and merciful Father in Heaven we have. Even though our own transgressions against Him get us into trouble, whenever we call out His name from deep down inside, he bails us out of the fire. I've seen it time and time again."
This is also so true. Hashem gives us chance after chance, and He forgives us time after time. I think the real importance is in acknowledging that arrogance, and asking for forgiveness. It is a humbling experience, even if we continue to make mistakes.
This Yom Kippur, I will go in with a feeling of humility and incredible gratitude that Hashem does give us this opportunity every year (and the truth is, every day) to ask for forgiveness and to receive His compassion.
May everyone have an easy and very meaningful fast.