No Time for Regrets by Michael Winner/8/31/2022 Much to the grief of his mother, my soon-to-be 14-year-old has finally moved out and has begun his journey in the world of yeshivos.Most kids his age do not move out to yeshiva for another three years or so. But those kids tend to live in the center of the country where there are more options for them. However, in this case, the best option for him is in another city. It's not too far away, just two buses, but given that he will be going weeks without coming home, it's still hard on his mother. Not his father, of course, because human fathers are like lion fathers, they want to be left alone, preferably sleeping.Of course the cost is higher than his elementary school, but from everything we have heard and seen from this particular yeshivah and it's rabbeim, we are more than happy to pay, knowing that it's ultimately for his growth.So, a new chapter has begun for the Winner family, and hopefully it will be good for everybody.Okay, on to Torah.The Baal HaTurim brings several hints towards the month of Elul (the month preceding Rosh HaShanah). One of those hints is from a pasuk we say at the end of a special tefillah said throughout Elul, "If only ("Lulei") I would have believed that I would see the goodness of Hashem in the land of living…"Rav Yaakov Leonard, the Rosh Yeshiva in Nesivos Aharon in Yerushaliyim, wrote that the word "lulei," if only, signifies regret. If I only stopped smoking when I was younger. If I only went to this yeshiva instead of that. If I only took the small risk to get that reward. Our whole lives can be filled with "lulei."How many of us can look back in life and say, "Wow … why didn't I do this or do that? Why did I make this decision, when I really should have made that?"With the divorce rate being so high, how many are thinking, "Why DID I marry him/her?" And some might be even thinking, "Why DID I divorce him/her?"How many of us have put our work before our family, distancing ourselves from our loved ones?How many of us have put our physical desires above our spiritual, year after year, and continue to remain ignorant in Jewish law and belief?How many of us are not living up to our potentials because we're too afraid to take the first steps?Our lives are full of "lulei," "if only."The Vilna Gaon says that the biggest pain a person can feel is that after his 120 years of life, he sees what he was and what he could have been had he pushed himself a little more.So, what's the hint of Elul in this pasuk? The word "lulei" is spelled lamed-vav-lamed-aleph. And when you reverse the spelling, you get aleph-lamed-vav-lamed, Elul.Elul is the opposite of "what if"s and "had I only"s.On Rosh Hashanah, we're not just celebrating a new year, like the rest of the world does. Hashem is literally creating a "new world order," if you will. And during the month of Elul, we have the opportunity to show Him, that we CAN have a place in this new world.Elul is the time where we take all those doubts, all those "had I only"s and throw them to the side. It's a time to say, "Yes, I made my mistakes, but I can still change and I can still reach my potential. I simply need the opportunity to do so."When a person, for example, has a product he wants to sell, but does not have the capital to build and sell it, he needs to go in front of investors to convince them to invest in him and his product. So what does he do? He dresses properly, writes up his speech, creates a prototype, and pitches his idea to the investors with the confidence that a person has when he knows that he's a winner.Elul is the time where we make ourselves in the prototype that we believe we can become, and on Rosh Hashanah we step in front of The Investor and "make our pitch," explaining that we too are worthy of another year.Every person is, or rather, should be, filled with regret for actions we have taken in the past (or failed to take) that have hindered our spiritual growth. And that's normal and healthy. But it's healthy only to a point that it helps us initiate change.When Elul comes around, we take stock in our failures, put them to the side and say, "Okay, let's move forward." We have a month-long opportunity to show that no matter how many slip-ups we've had in the past, we still have the ability to reach our potential and we simply need the investment of another year.With that, I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos and a successful Elul.