Monday, July 25, 2005

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Teshuva - Return, Reconnect

Repent Oh Ye Sinner!

Nope, that's not our style. T'shuva is the hebrew word that is often translated as repentence. Yet, that's not the point. For that matter, what does 'repent' even mean?

Alternate and more meaningful translations are return and reconnect. One, G-d forbid, has moved away from holiness, has, due to one's actions, become disconnected from G-d. To 'do t'shuva', or to 'repent' is to return, to reconnect in one's relationship with G-d and the holiness that entails.

In kabbalistic terminology, it's noted that in hebrew to return is 't'shuv'. The 'a' at the end is a hebrew letter hey. In other words, t'shuva is to return the hey.
What hey? One of G-d's primary names in hebrew is the tetragramaton, the letters yud, then hey, then vav, then hay. We are taught that every soul is a piece of G-d himself, a spark of divinity. A part of this soul enters the world, usually against it's will, pushed into a material body. Actions of holiness connect it with it's divine source, Torah, mitzvot, bind it. G-d forbid, gross material actions, focusing on the physical pleasures, does the opposite. It builds an iron wall between the soul and it's divine source.

T'shuva breaks the wall and reconnects the soul to it's divine source, it returns the hey (the hebrew letter) to G-d's name.

More on the subject can be seen here: 2 Levels of T'Shuva


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