return again

Teshuvah (repentance) is the most amazing experience in the world--The catharsis of making up with HaShem is unrivaled. I wanted to write a bit about this after my own experiences this morning in tefillah, but I forgot about it until I read this post over @ Orthodox Anarchist.

Teshuvah is the greatest gift HaShem gave us and the joy that can be found within it proves the point.

There's multiple levels of Teshuvah. When you really get into it, the levels of Teshuvah are as numerous as the infinite levels of the world, but they can be broken into two major categories:
  1. Teshuvah out of fear, and
  2. Teshuvah out of love
Teshuvah out of fear is when you do Teshuvah to avoid the punishment that is waiting for you as a result of something you did that you shouldn't have. [I'm not really going to discuss this form of Teshuvah here. It's enough to say and mean, "HaShem I'm sorry I did X Y and Z"]

Teshuvah out of love is when you do Teshuvah because you can't bear the distance you've placed between yourself and HaShem. When you want HaShem so badly that any little seemingly insignificant action that may have distanced you slightly from Him causes you intense pain. [Like how I wish (so much that it hurts) I could have known where my wife was and what she was doing at every moment of my(/her/our) life from the moment I was born.]

When we have that kind of relationship of love with our Father, HaShem, then everything that we ever do that is wrong can actually be transformed from a source of mourning to a source of intense pleasure. Yes, it hurts when we sin, (what were we thinking?!? it was SO not worth it) but once it has happened in a way it's a gift from HaShem... you have another oppurtunity to do Teshuvah from the depths of your being.

[If you take advantage of the oppurtunity, there's no better feeling in the world. (It's the fallen Emeth (truth) in the pop-culture husk that is called "make-up sex")]

Every time we fall, it is a new opportunity we have been given by HaShem to develop the relationship further, to draw the ties that bind us to HaShem that much closer.

There's lots of room for misunderstandings and mistakes in the interpretation of this post, but who can cover them all? I'll leave off with a couple of basic reminders/warnings:
  1. It's virtually impossible to do Teshuvah if you sin on purpose in order to do Teshuvah later.
  2. Mitzwoth that come to one's hand through sinning are not counted as mitzwoth.
  3. Nothing stands in the way of true Teshuvah... Nothing.


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