Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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Forgiveness

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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     If we truly repent of our sin, G-d will forgive us. But there are two ways G-d can forgive us.

     If the reason we repent is because we are afraid that we will be punished for what we did, G-d changes the judgment for that sin from being a sin that we did on purpose, to one that we did by accident. Obviously, the punishment for accidental mistakes is a lot less severe than the punishment for mistakes that were made on purpose.

     Imagine someone bumping into you, and knocking you over. If he did it on purpose you are going to be very angry with him, and you will demand some type of retribution. But if he bumped into you by accident, even though you are still knocked down, it will be a lot easier to pacify you. After all, he didn’t really mean to do it.

     However, if we repent, not because of fear of punishment, but rather because of our true love of G-d, and we regret that we transgressed against Him, then our mistakes will be considered as if they were merits!

     If we transgress against someone who has the ability and reputation to strike back, we will be frightened, and we will do whatever we can to apologize and make up for our sin so he will not strike us. If he accepts our apology he will not hurt us, but that sin is still in his memory, and whatever we do in the future will be judged with our past sin still in his mind.

     But if we transgress against someone we love, as soon as we realize that we hurt them in any way, we are going to sincerely apologize, and we will try to do something to make up for our error. We might buy them a gift, write them a nice letter, give them a kiss; we will try to do something that they want. Then, that person judges us as someone who is being so kind and loving. Our mistakes have turned to our favor.

     We see that love is much greater than fear. But the fear that we are referring to here is lower level fear, fear of punishment. There is a higher fear that is much greater than even love. This higher fear is called awe.

    Awe of G-d is breathless, startling. If the moment would linger, the joy would sweep the soul out of its body. But instantly, It begins to fade, hiding again… “How long will you hide Your face from me?”[i] The soul craves, reaches, yearns to be swept up into the glory. Behold, the very purpose of life.


[i] Psalms 13:3

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