Thursday, 18 September, 2014 - 8:39 pm


In honor of a dear friend Erez A. --a devotee to Judaism and…Golf.

It was the morning of Yom Kippur and Harold should have been in synagogue, but instead, he decided to catch a quick round of 18 at the local golf course. Standing at the Tee on 18th Hole, Harold takes a shot, and to his shock--he aces it. A hole-in-one!

The angels challenge G-d. “Is this justice? Why reward Harold with a miracle shot? He should have been in Shul on this Holy Day! He should be punished, not rewarded!

Then a heavenly voice rings out. “Indeed. And whom…can he tell?!”



A gentleman’s game of hitting tiny balls–only to chase after them and hit them again. When the ball finally reaches the hole–400 yards and several strokes later–the players line up and do it all over again.

All it takes to ruin a good round of golf is one misplaced shot. A few degrees off, and the ball rests not on the green–but hopelessly embedded in a sand-trap or in the rough. One bad shot, and one’s score card ‘is cooked’ for that round of golf.

And that is where the Mulligan comes into play.

As Wikipedia says succinctly: Mulligan: [Wikipedia] A stroke that is replayed from the spot… without penalty, due to an errant shot made on the previous stroke. The result is… as if the first errant shot had never been made.

Life is Like a Round of Golf

As we approach Rosh Hashana, we observe the errant shots that we have sprayed left and right, way off the fairway. Lying in the rough, sand-traps, and perhaps, even in the living-room of the unfortunate fellow who lives near the golf course–our errant ‘shots of life’ are way off-course.

In life, as on the Golf course, we are given the opportunity for a ‘do-over’. Like our genteel company on the course, G-d will graciously afford you a chance to fix your mistake “as if the first errant shot had never been made.” But you need to ask.

Tshvua --our Mulligan

Our Mulligan is the gift of Tshuva, repentance. As we say throughout the Liturgy on Rosh Hashana, G-d doesn’t desire the punishment of the wicked “But the returning of the wayward”.

As we take stock and prepare for the coming Rosh Hashana, don’t give up hope. Pick your ball up from wherever is landed. Put it back on the Tee, and start again fresh.

G-d, I’m asking for a Mulligan.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yisroel Hecht

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