It seems that with the advent of this years' Day of Judgment my tongue has become heavy. There were a few things I wanted to speak about that weren't quite 'in the spirit of the moment', so I refrained from saying them until the time is more neutral. I did want to mention that I would like to start a new blog called "הציוני האחרון" (obviously based on the 'Subliminal' song), which would deal solely with reasons for American Jews to emigrate to the Holy Land and of the supremacy of the arguments of the conservative party in Israel. I feel a need to because I've been seeing the attitudes of my fellow Jewish bloggers on the subject of their relationship with the Jewish state a lot recently, and, as usual, their attitudes distress me greatly. But first I'd have to formulate some related articles here, which I find very difficult. The premises of my ideals are so ingrained in me that it would be difficult for me to start rethinking why I feel how I feel about the subject.
But perhaps a word about the little I've been doing in the way of T'shuva: There's a Rabbi in Israel (Mechon Meir) who has a very similar last name to me (הרב אורי שרקי), and is one of the leading Sefaradi/North African thinkers in Israel in the spirit of Rav Kook and Religious Zionism in general. He has a series available online about T'shuva (among a vast number of other topics) where he explains the Hilchot T'shuva of the Rambam based on the Orot Ha'Tshuva of Rav Kook and his own explanations. His words and explanations are so pristine, clear and correct that I'm thinking about becoming a "chasid" of his. As a result of his speeches I also started delving in to Kook's "Orot Ha'Tshuva" a little for myself. ...he's very poetic. ..and very broad and dramatic about the ideas he expresses. It's kind of stuff I think I'd write myself if I was so inclined. That, by the way, is how you know when an author or a thinker is for you; when you feel it's the kind of subject matter you yourself could have written, but you just wouldn't be able to find the right words to express it yourself.
Anyway, there's something I wanted to say about actual T'shuva: There's a difference of opinion between two Spanish rabbis; "Moshe of Cordoba" and "Moshe of Girona". The Rambam felt that the actual "מצוות עשה" of T'shuva was not T'shuva itself, but the act of 'vidduy', a pronouncement of confession to G-d regarding sin. The opinion of the Ramban was that this is untrue; the mitzva is in fact the act of T'shuva itself. Reasons and arguments for their opinions vary, and border on some very deep Judaic topics. What I wish to say for the moment is that, according to the Rambam especially, if you're not totally sincere with your vidduy that is a serious offence. Yet the prayers established for these days are full of vidduyim; and we might not always be sincere in saying them.
I've always felt that how vidduy is said and what thoughts to with it, is without question the crux of these "ימים נוראים", and that what is really required is a "true vidduy", the kind of vidduy described in Shaarei T'shuva, something I myself have never done, but at least look towards with longing.