BOOK OF DAYS
On Rosh Hashanah, Reb
Yakov sat in the synagogue. As he listened to the cantor
chant, he closed his eyes and began to daydream: The Holy
One sat upon the Throne of Judgment, surrounded by angels.
Reb Yakov saw himself in the dream. He stood before the
Heavenly Court. The angels opened the Book of Life to
the page that had Reb Yakov's name inscribed on it. It
was filled with all he had done during the past year.
Not even the smallest deed had been overlooked. All of
Reb Yakov's good deeds were written in black ink on the
Credit side of the page. All of his bad deeds were written
in red ink on the
Debit side of the page. Reb Yakov's many good deeds were
balanced against his bad deeds.
In his imagination Reb Yakov watched as the trial
took place. All of Reb Yakov's mitzvot
turned into angels. They rose to speak in his defense.
Then satan, the prosecuting angel, stood up and listed
all of Reb Yakov's sins.
Reb Yakov waited for the verdict. He wondered whether
he would be inscribed for a year of blessing. He waited
and waited. Suddenly the defending angel stood before
"Reb Yakov," he said, "the Holy One has not yet rendered
"But I don't understand. Why must I wait?"
"Today is the Day of Judgment. On this day three books
are opened. One is filled with the names of the completely
righteous. Another is filled with the names of the completely
"Is my name written in either of those books?" asked
"No, that is why you must wait," the angel responded.
"For both the completely righteous and the completely
wicked, the Holy One renders and seals the verdict at
once. But your name, Reb Yakov, has been written into
the third book---the book that lists those who are not
entirely good nor entirely bad."
"What shall become of me?" Reb Yakov wondered.
"Your verdict has been suspended until Yom Kippur.
During the Days of Awe, if you repent, pray, and perform
tzedakah, then you will
be inscribed in the Book of Life."
Suddenly Reb Yakov woke from his daydream. He listened
to the cantor chant. As he opened the pages of his prayer
book, he promised to return to God in the days ahead.