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Section: Moadim   Category: Elul-Tishrei
Viduy Maasros - You're Not All That Bad!
The parsha begins with what is known as "Vidui Maasros", one step in the process of bringing the bikurim to the Bais Hamikdash. After the benefactor has given his first fruits to the Kohen, he is commanded to announce out loud that all the various maasros were given correctly, promptly, and in accordance with all the given halachos. Once the individual is finished, he proclaims to Hashem (kaviyochel) that now that I have done my part, it is time for You to peer from Your Holy Abode and shower me and Klal Yisroel with the bracha we need.

What kind of "Vidui" is this? Certainly not the one we're familiar with, the one we will be saying many times over within the next few weeks! Usually vidui means confession, submission, guilt, etc., but here, we proclaim in this sort of vidui that Hashem must now shower us with blessing, and this is done with utmost confidence and certainty. How are we to understand what this really means?

The explanation, says Rav Yosha Ber Soloveichik, zt'l, is that certainly vidui is what we all know it to be. However, if in the course of our confession of our aveiros we don't also take stock in our own self-worth and value, then we are missing a vital component of the derech hateshuva.

Teshuva is not only regretting the past, but also seeing how to avoid those mistakes in the future - kabala al ha'asid. If we are only to focus on our negatives, with what will we use to build ourselves for the future after Yom Kippur has come and gone? Only with this realization that we take the positives in each and every one of us and focus on the good we can do.

It is brought in the writings of Rav Nosson Wachtfogel, zt'l, the mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood that he said that it is really a wonder that we are even allowed to "pound ourselves into the ground" to the extent that we do on Yom Kippur. The only reason the Torah sanctions such activity is one of the unbelievable aspects of Yom Kippur, one of the reasons that makes that day so great and special. But the idea is to say the vidui and then move on, in the sense of not getting caught in the despair of aveira.

While none of us will have the audacity to offer such a proclamation of the type the Torah describes in the possuk "Hashkifa", we do need to realize that we have tremendous value and regard in shomayim. In the tefila preceding mussaf the chazzan describes Hashem as a "Yoshev Tehilos Yisroel"; the very throne of Hashem (kavoyochel) is "built" through the power of our tefilos. If you care to create a strong throne for the King and wish to proclaim His Oneness, daven really hard; He is counting on you.

RELATED ARTICLES:Parshas Ki Savo  Rav Nosson Wachtfogel  Viduy  Yom Kippur

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