Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

"The Duties of the Heart"

Gate Seven: "The Gate of Teshuva"
Ch. 3

Certain things would have to occur to you deep-down before you can actually do teshuva. Otherwise you'd only be going through the motions or setting out to please others.

First, it would have to be clear to you that you'd in fact done something wrong. Now, that's easy enough to determine within the mitzvah-system, once you know what's right and what wrong. But then it has to occur to you that the wrong you did actually mattered, which goes deeper yet, since it touches on your view of the mitzvah-system in the grand scheme of things. If you depend on it as a marker of your spiritual standing, you'll obviously be very concerned about having violated it and diminished yourself along the way, and you'll indeed be moved to teshuva.

You'd then have to realize that there'll be consequences to what you did, which is always true (after all, doesn't every page turned affect the ones before and after it somehow, as well as the reader himself?) -- and that your spiritual standing will be altered accordingly.

The next thing to ponder would be the fact that *nothing* we do is ever shrugged off as inconsequential; everything we do, good and bad, is "recorded in a book" (i.e., noted in Heaven, marked down, and kept).

You'd then do well to realize that there's indeed a solution to your predicament now, which is teshuva. And that it's the only solution at that. It would do you no good to simply pine away at your misdeeds, for example, or to fast; and it certainly wouldn't help to flagellate yourself -- mentally or physically. It has to occur to you that the same G-d Almighty who ordained the things we're to do to get close to Him, the mitzvot, provided us with the means of rectifying our misdeeds and getting close to Him again.

It would then help to realize how much you'd have lost in your relationship to G-d (and to others you'd hurt, as well) by your sin, to set it against the satisfaction you'd gotten from the sin, and to realize how "expensive" it turned out to be in the end (see Pirke Avos 2:1).

And lastly, it should be crystal clear to you by this point that you'd been wrong, that you no longer want to be, and that it's time to engage in teshuva indeed. But, what in fact are you to do to achieve true teshuva? We'll discover that next time.


Text Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

Communication Brings Unity
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

The Gift of Meat
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Positive Speech Builds a Brighter World
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Parshas Noach
Shlomo Katz - 5772

> Miracles Can Happen Slowly
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Noach - A 'Standard' Tzaddik
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Flooded With Real Ecstasy
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

ArtScroll

Did The Animals Come Or Did Noach Have To Bring Them?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

A World is Built!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Of Showers, Towers, and False Powers
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Unity With Caution
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

What Was Noach's Greatest Legacy?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information