Come Friday night, she says that it probably is not appropriate for her to learn Yeshaya on Shabbos, because it makes her teary eyed, as do all the stories of tragedies and missed opportunities. I say that we should try anyway. So we sit down to learn, including Rashi.
Here are the Pesukim we learn Friday night.
Rashi on passuk 16:
".... Wash, purify, remove, cease, learn, seek, uphold, judge, fight, come: ten mandates of repentance here, corresponding to the Ten Days of Repentance [between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur] and corresponding to the ten verses of Kingship, Remembrance, and Shofar."
The ten imperatives in Pesukim 16, 17, and 18, correspond to the עשרת ימי תשובה. I never would have known this. How often are the עשרת ימי תשובה referred to in Tanach? So far, only one other place, where Naval died ten days after he insulted Dovid HaMelech, those were the עשרת ימי תשובה (RH 18a.) To have learned Tanach a whole year, to get to Yeshaya, to wonder whether yes Rashi or no Rashi, to decide to do it anyway, and to do it now, and to learn davka the pesukim that are meramez to the עשרת ימי תשובה, that is not just general information.
Even more: This week is Parshas Vayelech. In 31:18, the Torah warns us that Klal Yisrael will face Hester Panim.
We are used to thinking of הסתר פנים like the story of Megillas Esther, that Hashem hides from us, that His Hashgacha Pratis is hidden behind Teva. But the Navi Yeshayahu tells us that there is an aspect of Hester Panim that is much, much, worse than that. This is the aspect kind of Hester Panim that the Gemara in Chagiga (4b) uses our pesukim in Yeshaya 1:12 to explain.
This is an aspect of Hester Panim where Hashem doesn't want your mitzvos.
The Navi Yeshaya applies this to the Avoda of the Beis HaMikdash - I have no interest in your korbanos. Who asked you to make Aliyah LeRegel? Your Yomtov gatherings make me tired. But the Rambam and Rabbeinu Yonah explain that this הסתר פנים is not limited to the things the Navi Yeshaya described, it is total. All the mitzvos you do are rejected by the Ribono shel Olam. This is not an issue of עבירה מכבה. This is an iron curtain created by failure to do Teshuva.
The Rambam (Teshuva 7:7) says that when a person has not done Teshuva, the RBSO does not want a person's mitzvos. Not just Aliya l'regel - all mitzvos.
Learning this Friday night of Shabbos Shuva felt like a Navi knocked at my door with a message from the Ribono shel Olam. "The Ribono shel Olam wants you to know this: It is the עשרת ימי תשובה, and you had better take this very, very, seriously."
We don't have neviim, we don't even have a bas kol. But we apparently do have something. That "something" arranged that after almost a year of learning Tanach, during Aseres Yemei Teshuva, the night before we read in Parshas Vayeilech about Hester Panim, we read a Rashi that told me that until a person does Teshuva, all his Mitzvos and Maasim Tovim just make the Ribono shel Olam tired. They bring no Ritzui. The person is in a self imposed condition of Hester Panim, a Hester Panim that means not only that Hashem is hidden from him, but far worse, that Hashem does not want to see him or his pathetic mitzvos and Torah. In order to escape from that miserable condition, the Navi told us we have Aseres Yemei Teshuva. These Aseres Yemei Teshuva are not just a matter of time passing. They represent the ten steps a person must take to climb out of his pit of Hester Panim. They are
The Gaon in his Peirush on Nach (MHK) says
טז רחצו וגו' חשב כאן תשעה דברים ואחר כך אמר לכו נא ונוכחה והמה כנגד עשרת ימי תשובה והעשירי יום הכפורים ואמר בפסוק הראשון ד' דברים רחצו הזכו הסירו חדלו שהם ד' דרכי התשובה היינו חרטה וידוי עזיבת החטא ולחדול מכל הדברים שהביאו לחטוא והם כנגד ארבעה פעולות שבאדם במחשבה בדיבור במעשה והמעשה נחלק לשתים עשה ולא תעשה יז למדו היטב הרגילו את עצמכם להיטיב דרשו לדרוש יפה אשרו לשון הדרכה כמ"ש רש"י ורצה לומר הגזול תמיד שלא היה יכול לילך בדרך מפני העושקים ורצחנים וז"ש בחולם לשון מקור שהיה תמיד עשוק וגזול תדריכוהו שפטו בשביל היתום כמו שפטני אלהים וריבו הוא יותר כי שפיטה מדת השופט וריב הוא מדת בעל דין ואצל אלמנה שהיא מעונה יותר מהיתום וגם כל כבודה פנימה אמר ריבו שתהיה בעל דין בשבילה
The notes from R Meir Yehoshua Katzenellenbogen there:
Rabbi Krasner speaks about this at length in his amazing Nachalas Shimon on Yeshaya 1, numbers 31 and 41, and brings from the Noda Biyehuda a long discussion of how the Rambam could say what he says and his makor. Among other things, the idea is that וְעוֹשֶׂה מִצְוֹת וְטוֹרְפִין אוֹתָן בְּפָנָיו doesn't mean that he doesn't get schar. It means that his schar goes to where his ikker roots/yenika are/is, so if he is a ben olam hazeh, all the schar goes to olam hazeh. If he does teshuva, and becomes a ben olam haba, then his schar goes to the olam haruchni, to olam haba.