8 Tishrei 5772
From The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov
“…one who habitually sins and overcomes his habit through repentance, and uproots that sin from his being and totally abandons it, is said to be as desired by G-d as one who offered a rich sacrifice on the altar---and his reward is exceedingly great. The more that a sin has become a part of a person, the greater the reward for repenting.
The same is true concerning a place, a time, or an age. For example, if one sees a place where people are prone to commit a certain sin, know that this particular sin is the greatest source of accusation against them. Hence, repentance from this sin is more important that any source of merit that might exist and is more highly regarded by G-d than any good deed. If they will repent this sin, their repentance will assist them in overcoming all other trangressions. But, if they do not repent, even if all their other acts are good, then they will be considered to be like one who immerses himself in a mikveh for purification while holding an impure object in his hand!
If there is an entire generation which is known for a particular trangression, then the sensitive among them should rectify that particular failing more than other failings, for their repentance will tip the scales on behalf of all the others who will emulate their behavior and also repent."
G'mar chatima tova. Shabbat shalom and Chag Sameach!