Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Shabbos Teshuva

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

Shabbos Teshuva


     This Shabbos, the Shabbos before Yom Kippur, is called Shabbos Teshuva, the Shabbos of Repentance. "Repentance" is the common translation of teshuva however "returning" is a more proper description of the process of teshuva; returning to the pure nature of the self.

     One of the highlights of the prayers on Yom Kippur comes when we enthusiastically call out "teshuva, tefilla, tzedakah" (Returning, Prayer, Charity). Most Yom Kippur Books have a small word in a different Hebrew script inserted over each of these words. Above "teshuva" is the word "tzom" (fasting), above "tefilla" is "kol" (voice), and above "tzedakah" is "mamon" (money).

     These come to teach us more than the obvious lesson that we do teshuva, tefilla, and tzedakah; with fasting, voice, and money.

     In Hebrew they also teach us something that we might not have known without them; that "returning," "prayer," and "charity" are of equal importance. We cannot say that only one of these is important enough. We need them all. How do the words "fasting" "prayer" and "money" teach this lesson? In Hebrew, they each have the same gematria, the same numerical value.[i]

     To have a successful Yom Kippur we need all three.

[i] Each equals 136


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