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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 have.

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 preoccupied.

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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