The Matzav Shmoooze: Dear Tof Shin Ayin Alef


kever-rochel-daveningA letter to you, Dear Tof Shin Ayin Alef,

Just yesterday we stood at your entrance without any ideas as to what your days would bring – all 365 of them. Now another 365 days are standing lined up one after another behind locked doors. We tried peeking in but failed, even the smallest speck was hidden from us. And now as I write to you, dear Taf Shin Ayin Alef, I am shaking with awesome fright.

Would I ever have imagined what you would have looked like as I stood before Hashem last Rosh Hashanah? I was full of wishes and hopes…and wondering: would you bring happiness, growth, and success- or disappointment and failure? Would you be filled with good times, good friendships? With what would you fill up your hours and minutes? How would your newspaper headlines appear? Would they be filled with excitement and good news, or chas v’shalom, the opposite? What was in store for the people of the world- would major crucial changes take place? In my family? Or maybe around me…or within me?

Everything…everything was written and signed already then from Rosh Hashanah until Yom Kippur of Taf Shin Ayin Alef. If only I could have known then what I know now. If only I would have just imagined, that within your days very precious souls would be taken away from this world- our great leaders- and even worse to us our very own friends…would I not have raised my voice and intensified my kavanna. I am convinced that had I sweated a bit more, invested some more strength in the words “hafair atzas oyveinu” I’m convinced that I could’ve destroyed a few more arab terrorists before their explosion destroyed us. I am sure that things would have been different if I would have taken advantage of those hours of rachamim.

How many measures of emotional strength and how many tears would I have invested in the words “Avinu Malkeinu na al tishiveinu reikam milfanecha”, seen them as I see them right before my eyes, the people who so desperately await their own yeshuos; but yet another year just passed them by unanswered, another 365 days. The days, hours, and the minutes that you contained were all full with their suffering, yet with their hope. If only I had begged a bit more before Hashem stamped His final signature on that day! I have no doubt in me that had I seen it all before me, I would have invested every last effort and intensified my kavanah to no end.

Sadly, it was davka then that my desperation and imagination decided to stall, davka then, when every hour, every minute, was so crucial…when the knock is heard and the knock departs-those crucial moments of :
“kol dodi dofeik, pischu li”
“Mi b’kitzo u’mi lo b’kitzo”
“mi yichyeh u’mi yamus”

Where was my imagination? Where was I when I had the power in my hand to correct, to erase, to sweeten my fate and that of others? When I flash in front of me the year that just passed, an accusing finger screams at me: WHY DIDN’T YOU TRY HARDER??”

This time I know. This time I’ll try. This time I won’t hesitate to let the tears fall. I won’t hesitate to beg. This time I’ll put in every drop of energy I have. I know not what will be tomorrow, but I do know that everything from the simple to the most complex will be decided upon and written…EVERYTHING…

A Yid


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. Wow! Thank you for sharing this! It is a very true and powerful letter. If only we could spread it all around! May this be the year that we greet Mashiach.

  2. okay do we have to be exact? its okay if we wrote 365 instead of 354 cant we have one post with out a negative response?

  3. Thank you so much for such a powerful letter. Thank you for opening our eyes in such an enlightening way. May our heartfelt tefilos this year bring Moshiach bimhayra.

  4. “okay do we have to be exact? its okay if we wrote 365 instead of 354 cant we have one post with out a negative response?”

    Apparently not.

  5. Funny, but the Gemara refers to a year consisting of 365 days (Krisos 6a – we say it in Karbanos). The “Jewish” year can consist of your 354 or 383 (or is it 384?). So, if you’re going to pick, please get it right. (Better would be to not pick, though. Just a thought.)

    Skoyach for a thoughtful and well written article.