The Gates of Repentance
Eight Principle of Teshuva: MANIFESTING SURRENDER
Our subject now is the reaction of a sensitive soul who would have lapsed
into spiritual mediocrity-- and knew it only too well. One who would have
come to realize that his or her precious relationship to G-d had gone sour
and was threatened. Let's use an analogy to the relationship two souls might
When two souls meet who were meant to join together, a certain harsh and
roaring heart-storm subsides, which only stirs itself up again when things
sour in their relationship.
The one of them who’d done something to threaten that relationship would be
virtually *commandeered* by the reactivated heart-storm. He'd scarcely be
able to speak if spoken to. He'd wear the same clothing day after day, or his
clothes would clash. And he'd stare at the ground, forever distracted and
For woe is he. The love of his life is angry and hurt, and he'd been the
cause. Something he'd said or did in utter insensitivity had so shocked his
beloved that she'd pulled away.
This is the situation of the sensitive soul who had threatened his or her
relationship to G-d.
Such a person couldn’t possibly muster the wherewithal to answer questions,
he couldn’t care less about his looks, and he'd be so heart-sick and barraged
by the awful storm that he could barely see in front of him.
What he’d have to do is return to his beloved and do all he could to rectify
his ways. Only then would they be able to reconcile; only then would the
harsh storm subside again.
Said outright, the only way one who’d threatened his or her relationship with
G-d could ever rectify that would be to do teshuva. And only then would the
sort of over-meek responses, personal disarray, and lowered eyes Rabbeinu
Yonah speaks of in this principle be alleviated.
Now, should a person who’d threatened his or her relationship with G-d *not*
sense these things going on in his being, Rabbeinu Yonah’s advice would be to
*consciously* manifest the sort of low and humble voice, personal disarray,
and lowered gaze spoken of here. Since that will instill teshuva’s requisite
humility and personal surrender.
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