Letter: I know I was Judged

I had a special moment on Rosh Hashanah that I want to share with you, in which I know I was judged.

The man of the house I was staying at said by one of the meals, “how does a person know when he is being judged; when his time of judgment is? Some people say that when a person has a special feeling, a special moment, a special inspiration or a moment of a feeling of closeness to Hashem, that’s when he is judged. That’s when Hashem is writing down his predicament for the whole year.”

Well, on Rosh Hashanah, I had that moment when I knew I was judged.

It was on the first day on Yom tov. I was in shul. The tzibur was davening unesaneh tokef, and after a few minutes, a hush fell over the room, as the chazzan raised his voice and started reciting the prayer out loud. My feet were hurting, so I was sitting with my machzar in front of me and I was hunched over, looking inside, as I was listening to the sweet, pleading voice of the chazzan.

Suddenly, I saw God in front of me. He was sitting on His throne of glory, and we were looking at each other. But something felt awry. In between me and God I noticed a thick heavy glass wall. I saw God holding out his hand to me, as if calling for me to grab on and come close to Him. But I could not reach it because of that glass wall. God and I started talking.

“God,” I asked, “Who made this wall between us two? Why is it here?”

God replied to me, “It wasn’t me.”

I had a very rough year with God. So many things happened to me over the year that were so hard to accept, so many challenges that were so hard to face, and there was a lot of anger in the relationship between me and God. The more the anger grew, the more distant I got, not because God was pushing me away, but because I was walking away; I pushed myself away. Oh how I so badly wanted to come close to God and stand right near Him, but my resentment and anger stood in the way and got the better of me. And I withdrew. As I spoke to God, I realized that all along, the anger was building a tall glass barrier in front of me, between me and God. But I blamed God that He created the glass barrier.

I had so many questions for God. And so, in that moment, as I was in shul, listening to the chazzan’s prayer, and to my own silent one as well, me and God had a debate as to who built the strong glass separator. I started to cry. To God. And I said, “God, You did so many things to me this year that were so so hard and painful. So so many obstacles. So many hardships. God, You were the one Who caused my resentment and anger to brew inside. You were the one Who made it so hard for me to reach You and hold on to Your hand. You are the one Who made me angry, and You are the one Who created this glass wall.” At this point I was begging, pleading, sobbing, tears were running down my cheeks, soaking my machzar.

I saw God looking at me with a yearning look on his face and He stretched His arm out even further to me. He did not say anything to me, but His action spoke to me. He was calling for me.

I began to cry even more, and silently I screamed, “God! Why do you make it so difficult for me to reach You? I want to! I want to reach You and feel your warmth and love! I so badly yearn to! But it’s so hard for me. There is so much anger, pain, grief, frustration, bitterness, sadness; so much getting in the way. Why would you make it so hard for me to reach you?!

God said to me, “My child, look at me. I am sitting here, my hand is stretched out to you. All the way. I want you so badly to reach back out, hold my hand, grab it and come close to me. I cry too. I cry and beg for you to stretch out your hand as well and reach mine. . I am here all the way, I never have or will turn away from you I am doing my part all the way because I love you so much.”

God continued. “But I can’t make you do anything. The rest is your choice. You have a choice if you want to hold on to my outstretched hand. You have a choice if you want to come close to me. I can’t force the relationship on to you, even though I miss you so much when you turn away from me!  I took the step of stretching out my hand, and it’s your choice to take the next step and to hold on to it. As much as I would love to, I can’t do that for you. Take baby steps if you need, but I need you to be the one to break that barrier and come reach on to me.”

I was confused. I was angry at God, and I loved him at the same time. I wanted to run away, but I wanted to come close in the same moment. I couldn’t figure it out.

That was it. That was my moment. I know I was being judged. I felt it. I felt a connection through all the heavy distance.

The next day, in shul, once again, I found myself facing God again. But this time, I didn’t have any questions. The distance was tangible, but I knew what I had to do. I knew my part.

Upon reflection, I realized that, indeed, I can’t expect God to pull me towards Him. That is MY part. God is waiting for me, ready to embrace. He is doing his part, I need to do mine. I need to trust him. I need to let go of the harsh feelings that created the glass wall. I need to turn around and once again start walking down that path towards his loving embrace. I know that as I work on breaking down that wall, God will be right there, cheering me on. Baby steps it will be, one step in front of the next. But I know, that God is always there; He is as close to me as I make Him. It’s up to me to create the connection in the relationship. It’s in my hands to decide how much God is in my life. I am the one with the choice: is He big, or is He small? Is He close, or is He far?

It’s up to me.

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  1. WOW. Thank you. This letter is exactly what I needed to read to go into this Yom Kippur. It is up to me. I need to take responsibility and stop blaming others and especially stop blaming Hashem.

    It doesn’t answer (for me at least) why I need to deal with all of the challenges I have or why at times it seems impossible to move forward, but it does tell me that regardless of that, it is up to me to make the relationship work. There is a Zeroah Netuya just waiting for me to hold onto and I just need to hold on. I tell my kids all the time that when we go on a family trip and I am driving I have never yet seen any of them sitting in the back seats with their waze on making sure I know where I am going. Instead they have a total trust in me their father that they can come along for the ride and enjoy their peaceful time because their father knows the way. Same to with our Faher in Heaven. No need for me to see if hashem is leading me in the right direction. Just need to hold his hand and trust him like a father and I will get to where I am supposed to be going. It really is up to me.

    Thank you!!!!!

  2. @baal tefila, I hope you don’t daven in my shul this Yom Kippur. Shame on you for knocking someone else’s teshuva process. Shame on you.
    Thank you TLS for sharing this article- really gets me into the mood… And perspective…

  3. Wow wow wow!! What a beautiful and real article! Having “been there” and been through lots of abuse and trauma and lots of other challenges, this letter is so uplifting and inspirational. Yes, for those of us that need to fight to get through the day, that need to fight to go through things that others just simply glide through, it is our mission to become close to God and not create that barrier. It is so much easier to create the barrier and place blame and anger on others or at God but the true heros are the ones that are able to break the barriers and built that connection!
    Amazing and beautiful letter!

    Thank you author for writing this and thank you Lakewood scoop for publishing it!

  4. Pls remove this perhaps Cristian or other, legend. I don’t believe it’s principles are in accordance with the torah and chazal. For example, GD does return us to him, as king David said.

  5. I personally know the person who wrote this. She’s a frum Lakewood mother who suffers and went through hell and back. She had this experience on rosh Hashanah and now realized that she “accidently” posted it on the scoop and is getting nasty comments. She by far isn’t apikores or Christian or avoda Zara. It’s erev you Kippur, do you really not have anything better to do? Are you jealous that she had a holier experience than you on Rosh Hashanah? Do yo think the Lakewood scoop would post some missionary articles?? Everyone can just calm down and relax and if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything! And you should meet this woman and hear her stories and struggles and you should never ever know if such pain!!!

    • amein!!!!!! and i dont know this person. doesnt matter if i know this one, everyone knows someone like this, and its inconceivable that one reading this can comment, and cause more pain to the person suffering. Us, as individuals should be only looking to make others lives easier, not harder. Have an easy fast and Gmar Chasima Tova.

  6. the author of this piece on some days suffers more in 24 hours than most do their entire lifetime. I know because i share her crippling hellish disease. Lets leave the judging up to Hashem this Yom Kippur. Lets let Him decide what is or is not “buba maisa, apikorsis and anthropomorphic.

  7. To all the mockers of this amazing article:
    I ask you did you ever suffer from abuse and trauma?
    Do you know the excruciating pain of emotional illness and the pain that abuse victims suffer for many years?
    Did you ever go to sleep praying that you should die in your sleep?
    Did you ever need to fight with yourself with every fiber in your being to stay alive?
    Do you know the suffering that we deal with on a daily basis?
    Do you know that we probably suffer more in one hour than you’ve suffered this entire year?
    Can you please keep your “fake holiness” to yourself and when you finally see something real, coming from a broken heart, keep your mouth closed.
    If you were truly “holy” and concerned about the name of Hashem, you wouldn’t publicly mock an article written by a Broken person.

    I’m not God, but I would venture to say that this person with this article is so so much more powerful and potent than all your davening and fasting and saying Al Cheit.
    You are doing the generic form of Avodas Hashem which is beautiful and great but this person is Writing to God from a broken heart and writing from the depths of her heart which is a place that is so real and pure. It’s a place that perhaps you were never brave enough to go. It’s scary to go there but this is where we victims and emotional illness suffers go all the time.

  8. No one is Chas veshalom mocking this person. It is a beautiful and moving letter. However the visualization of Hashem as a corporeal being is not in accordance with the basic tenets of our religion so the letter should be edited.

  9. I am Fent. I completely redact my comment and extend my apologies to the author. I realize that many people have diferent expressions, styles, feelings, and are in diferent places in their life’s journey that were all on together. Although some points could be adjusted, Hashem should send her all the yeshua that she so yearns for together with all of klall yisroel. Gmar chasima tova!

  10. Great Article! We can learn from this to be close to Hashem in a very real way, He is our father and we should have a personal relationship with him beyond just doing mitzvos. Gmar Chasima Tova to all!

  11. I feel very bad for the letter writer and wish her a Refual Shleima bkrov

    However TLS really needs Rabbinical guidance..

    We aren’t helping this poor suffering lady by encouraging her to post Xtian sounding stuff

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