...The upcoming year is the 5766th year since the creation of the world. It is commonly referred to as the year 766, תשס"ו , leaving out the thousands. This year will signify the spiritual mode of the Divine service of "returning [to G-d] from love" (תשובה מאהבה), as the numerical value of this phrase in Hebrew is 766.
The sages explain that when one returns to the Almighty from fear (be it fear of punishment or fear of other consequences of one's negative actions) then transgressions committed purposely are treated as accidents. But, when one returns from love of the Almighty, then negative actions are spiritually transformed into acts of merit. Chassidut adds that the merit in these re-interpreted acts is even greater than the merits in positive actions. So great is the power of return (teshuvah) from love that not only does it cleanse one's own self, but it even draws enough Divine light into reality so as to uplift that which one has made desolate by one's negative actions even entering into the sin itself and transforming/rectifying it.
Fear (even awe) shrivels us. Shunning the negative because of fear only serves us to escape that which is wrong, in order to save ourselves. But, the wrong itself remains as is and the situation remains blemished and continues to veil the Divine light that permeates all. The feelings of deflation and tension that accompany an attitude of fear lead us on a "shorter, but longer path." Our sins are indeed forgiven, but we remain unable to penetrate the inner core of our being and our environment, unable to rectify its very foundations.
On the other hand, when returning to G-d from love, we are filled with a positive attitude that spreads and contagiously affects everyone around us. We can no longer be satisfied with our own rectification and well-being but seek the same for all of reality (especially those parts that we have hurt by our transgressions). The expansive, calm, and patient nature of one who is motivated by love leads us down the "longer, shorter path." Though it is more difficult to attain, love allows us to penetrate the inner core of reality, revealing its intimate bond with the Almighty's Presence, and rectifies our transgressions from their very foundation, until our transgressions are transformed into merits...
Tagged Topic(s): rosh hashanah, hassidus, hassidus, chassidus
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