An “A” for Effort on Rosh Hashanah (Why Results Aren’t All That Matter When it Comes to Teshuva)


I have several partially-written posts that have been building in my blogging software these last few weeks. Since the kids have been around all day, every day in the gap time between camp and school, it’s been hard to finish much of anything for the site.

But no matter how many times I return to the blogging software to edit, re-edit, tweak, and correct, none of it matters to you until I hit the publish button and have something to show for my efforts. And that’s true with most tasks in life.

Attempting to cook a meal for a sick friend is a nice thought, but it certainly doesn’t compare to actually doing it. And bosses want assignments completed to their liking and on time, not stories about all the work that went into the assignment before the computer crashed.

When it comes to God, though, we’re very fortunate because our spiritual efforts count big time, even if we aren’t always able to produce results. As we are about to stand before our Maker and have all of our actions for the past year are reviewed, how comforting is it to know that it’s not only about succeeding and completing on Rosh Hashanah?

All the ups and downs and remorse, interspersed with more mistakes and regrets, followed up by the slightest improvements, count. Even the pain we felt over the past year when we were frustrated with our lack of growth as we wanted, hoped, prayed to be better have all been recorded.

Results are essential. Don’t get me wrong. This is after all the “olam hama’asim” (the world of action). But our Parent in heaven is patient and knows the thoughts of every man. So even if you aren’t the person you hoped to be by now, if you commit to spending your life attempting to become that person, more than half the battle has been won.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, growth-filled New Year.




  1. a lovely post as always. Shana Tova!

  2. L’shana tova to you and all your readers and thank you for your posts.

    Sheldon Dan

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Allison is the Founder and Director of Jew in the City. Please find her full bio here.