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Shir HaShirim-Sweet Surety

The Kobriner on Yom Kippur based his sermon on the words in U’Netane Tokef, which read, “But fasting for the purpose of uninterrupted repentance, the voice of sincere prayer, and the money donated for charity, serve to nullify the unfavorable verdict.”


Some of us are too weak physically to abstain from food. Some have no money to donate to charity, but every one of us can offer sincere prayer from the heart. Hence, no excuse can be presented for neglecting this requirement as a means of influencing the verdict in our favor. Moreover, with the voice of prayer is not from the heart, a man’s other excuses regarding physical weakness and lack of money do not prevail. If he does not perform what he can, it is obvious that were strong in body and possessed the means to give charity, he would in all likelihood have avoided deeds essential to change the verdict.

A suggestion is given in the verse, “For your voice is Areiv, sweet [or, can be read, ‘a surety’ (Song of Songs 2:14),” a “surety” for the other two conditions. (Ohr Yesharim, page 164)

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