Jonathan was a behavior problem to say the least. He disturbed class, fought with his friends, and disrespected his elders. A day wouldn't go by in school when Jonathan didn't get in trouble.
Jonathan was a behavior problem to say the least. He disturbed class, fought with his friends, and disrespected his elders. A day wouldn't go by in school when Jonathan didn't get in trouble. It was a usual occurrence at the Kaplan household to receive a pink slip in the mail for his misbehavior. Jonathan's parents and teachers did everything they could, but to no avail.
Mr. Kaplan knew that Jonathan did not realize the seriousness of his behavior problem, and until he did, his behavior would show no change. Mr. Kaplan met with Jonathan's teacher and they decided that Jonathan should tape every pink slip he received to the walls of his room. As the days passed, Jonathan's room collected more and more pink slips. First it was the walls, then the ceiling, then even the windows - before long everything was covered.
One day Jonathan walked into his room and broke down in tears. He ran to his father and said, "Look what I've done. I'm surrounded everywhere by pink slips. Everywhere I turn I see another thing I did wrong. What can I do? How can I change this?" His father told him that every day Jonathan didn't receive a pink slip he could take one down. Slowly, light came into his room as Jonathan started to behave and tear down his pink slips. After a couple of months, Jonathan's room was finally clean of pink slips and light filled the room. Never had he been so happy. It was the best day of his life.
Yom Kippur is just around the corner. We must take hold of this magnificent opportunity to wipe our slates clean and start afresh. If we sincerely repent for our misdeeds and make the commitment to diligently strive to be better in the future, Hashem will grant us forgiveness. Indeed, Yom Kippur can be the best day of our lives!
Ezra Cohen, a native Atlantan, alumnus of Yeshiva Atlanta, and graduate of Yeshiva University, is studying for his rabbinic ordination.
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