Shabbat Shuvah: The Physics of Return



Of Rubber Bands, Catapults & Slingshots

What can a rubber band teach us about teshuva?

What can a catapult teach us about using pent up energy to propel us upward?

What can a slingshot teach us about slinging forth our best shot?

These are the questions before us on this Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – Shabbat Shuvah – the Shabbat of Return.

Teshuva means return. Return is the snap of a rubber band. Return is the click of a catapult. Return is the release of a slingshot.

The further back you pull, the further forward you spring.

The rubber band can teach us much about teshuva, as it also helps us decipher a cryptic verse in this week’s Shabbat Shuvah Haftorah: I am like a green cypress tree.

Return is not only about returning to the place you were before. Return is about using the tension of built-up energy to propel yourself forward, and become even greater than you were before.

Is there a better way than this to enter the holiest day of Yom Kippur?


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