Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Gates of Repentance

Many tzaddikim (great and holy ones) like Rabbeinu Yonah seem to transcend space and time, and to speak to the ages. After all, they're divulging immortal truths rooted in Divine Will, and needn't concern themselves with whom they're addressing, or at what point in the continuum their readers live. Other times, though, they speak directly to their generation.

This week we find Rabbeinu Yonah expressing his disappointment in his contemporaries. It seems they'd slipped into spiritual mediocrity and insensitivity in particularly onerous ways. And they were being told just where they went wrong.

It seems, among other things, they were sometimes disingenuous, insensitive, impious, stingy, slanderous, hateful, haughty, and the like. And they were being advised as to how to get back on-course.

What proves to be most off-putting to those of us "overhearing" all this is that we find ourselves falling into the very same ruts, steering off-course the very same ways.

Who among us isn't sometimes disingenuous and can't quite be taken at his or her word? Who isn't insensitive to others' feelings? Who's always pious and never goes off the mark? Who's not stingy and ungiving from time to time? Who never takes comfort in citing others' faults? And who's never "full of himself"?

So, what's a person who's slipped into such patterns to do? Rabbeinu Yonah's advice both for his contemporaries and us is to keep a record of the day.

In point of fact, many people keep journals that cite the more prosaic or accomplished moments of the day. But the kind of record Rabbeinu Yonah seems to be talking about is closer to the diaries many of us kept when we were younger that listed our fears and triumphs, dreams and realizations.

We're advised to keep a sort of "state of the spirit" diary each day. One in which we'd recount just where we'd striven for spiritual excellence that day, and where we'd settled for mediocrity.

And to read from it from time to time in order to stay the course, and to allow for the deepening of the self that is teshuva (the process of returning to G-d).

Subscribe to Spiritual Excellence and receive the class via e-mail.


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Simple But Unbreakable Faith
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

A Time to Be Silent
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

To Fergin or Forget
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

ArtScroll

World Rectification
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Lighting Up the Streets
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Fourteen Sleepless Years
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

> Growing Forever
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Sheepish Leadership
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

The Mysterious Ways of Women
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Yaakov’s Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Chanukah and Mechiras Yosef: The Hidden Connection
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Shedding Light on the Identity Crisis
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Waning or Waxing
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Torah Education
Rabbi Wein - 5768

Thanks for What?
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Seeking Yitzchak
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765



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