When I checked my bank balance this week, I noticed a large withdrawal—a check for $2300. I opened it to view the check, and I saw my signature. The memo said it was for preschool, the date looked accurate and it seemed authentic overall. But I had no recollection of writing the check and I didn’t recognize the name it was made out to. Could it be fraud?
I checked with my wife but she didn’t recognize it either. I double checked the signature, and without doubt it was identical to mine. Something wasn’t adding up. So I called the bank manager and shared my concerns, and he placed a hold on the check.
The following day two more checks show up on my account, with my signature, but definitely not issued by me. I now knew it was definitely fraud.
It turned out that somebody had copied Chabad Israel Center checks and made them look identical, right down to my signature. It looked real, but it wasn’t. The only give away was that the thief had used check numbers that were out of sequence. This was not the real deal.
Thank G-d we were able to stop the theft and recover all the checks in time.
On Yom Kippur we sit in shul, dressed in white like angels, fasting and praying to G-d. We tell G-d, “This is the real me! The me that has been sinning all year is forged. That’s somebody else. It’s not the real me. It may look like my signature, it may look identical, it may be extremely difficult to tell the difference, but it’s not my signature. The real me is the one who is in shul now. The real me is the one who wants to do the right thing. The real me is the one who prays to G-d.”
During the year we may deviate from spirituality. We may have sinned. We may have done things that we are not proud of. But come Yom Kippur, we reveal our true selves—our good and holy selves.
May we all be inscribed in the book of life with health and happiness, and may we have the strength to keep our true selves revealed and in action year round.