Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: AVODAH Category:TSHUVA Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Sat, 27 Nov 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240 Chasam Sofer - When You're Past The Point Of No Return

The Chasam Sofer explains the famous Mishna at the end of Yuma, Amar Rabbi Akiva Ashreichem Yisroel Lifnei Mi Atem Mitaharim U'Mi Mitaher Eschem Avichem Shebashamayim, as follows.  There are 50 levels of Tumah.  As long as a person has not reached the 50th level he can still do tshuvah and  come back.  However once he reaches the 50th level it is impossible for him to come back by himself.  Only through the Chesed of Hashem can a person return from this depth.

The Chasam Sofer explains "Mi" is spelled Mem and Yud or the numerical value of 50.  "Lifnei Mi" before 50, "Atem Mitaharim" it is still within your power to purify yourself.  However "U'Mi" the person who has already sunk to the 50th level, he cannot purify himself.  So what happens to him?  "Mitaher Es'chem Avichem ShebaShamiym", his caring father in Heaven purifies him from the uncleanable mess he has made of himself.

May we all be zocheh to clean ourselves of all our aveiros and have a Gmar Chasima Tova.

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Tshuva - Humdrum Or Haman

In the parsha of Tshuva (Nitzavim 30:2-3) one pasuk says, "V'Shavta Ad Hashem Elokecha", you will return to Hashem.  The next pasuk says, "V'Shav Hashem Elokecha Es Shivuscha", Hashem will return you.  If Klal Yisroel returns by themselves why does Hashem need to return them?

The Imrei Kedesh from Starlisk answers that the gemara Sanhedrin 97b says that if Bnei Yisroel does not do tshuva on their own Hashem will empower a leader as cruel and blood thirsty as Haman to wake us up to do tshuva.

This is the meaning of the two pasukim.  Ideally "V'Shavta", we will recognize the error of our ways without any pressure or threat.  However if our comfortable environment blinds us and makes us deaf to the words of the Torah, then "V'Shav Hashem", Hashem will send a loud and clear message that we can't possibly sleep through. 

Fri, 17 Sep 2010 03:00:00 +0000
Rabbeinu Yonah Reasons For Tshuva - Reason 3: Without Ears You Are Worthless Through your ears you can leave behind the dark and enter the light in the bat of an eye.  When a person hears mussar and takes it to heart, deciding that he will change it is if he already has changed.  A person must change from hearing mussar or else he will be punished.  Before punishing Klal Yisroel, Hashem always sent Nevi'im to warn them.  Only if the ears are sealed shut does Hashem punish.

It says in Avos D'Rav Nosson that a person whose  ma'asim,deeds are more than his chochma, wisdom, his chochma will last.  How can a person have more deeds than wisdom, asks Rabbeinu Yonah?  If he does not know what to do, he cannot do it.  He answers that the moment a person makes up his mind to do whatever he will be told, it is as if he already did it even without knowing what it is that he must do.  This is the secret of Na'asehV'Nishma.  Since they agreed to do anything Hashem asked, it is considered done before even knowing the task required.

All this through the ears.  it is no wonder, says Rabbeinu Yonah, that if you damage any limb in the body, you pay for the limb.  However if you damage a person's ability to hear, you pay his entire worth.  A person that doesn't or cannot listen cannot improve.  If so, he is worthless.

Mon, 06 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Rabbeinu Yonah Reasons For Tshuva - Reason 2: Mid-Life Should Bring Crisis, But Old Age Should Bring Joy! Rabbeinu Yonah quotes the gemara in Pesachim (113b) that says that one of the three people that Hashem despises, is a promiscuous old man.  Rabbeinu Yonah says that it is a wonder and a marvel that a man who has reached half his life expectancy, and he sees his days slipping away, the building beginning to collapse, his body starting a downhill trend, seal his eyes and his heart from seeing that he is traveling a non-stop path to another world.  How could one avoid doing tshuva at that stage?  The only way possible is if you think that you are pure and just.  Get real!

To an old person whose body is broken to the point where they cannot enjoy life, he says the following.  Shlomo HaMelech said (Koheles 11:7) "U'Mosok Ha'Or V'Tov L'Einayim Liros Es HaShemesh", the light is sweet and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.  While your body no longer let's you enjoy the earthly pleasures you enjoyed in your youth, you should enjoy the light.  The light is the days that you have left in this world, where you can still learn Torah and perform Mitzvos.  After that you enter a world of darkness.  Darkness in the sense that you can accomplish absolutely nothing after your death.  Don't despair, take advantage and enjoy the golden rays of life.

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Rabbeinu Yonah, Reasons For Tshuva - Reason 1: Beautiful Tshuva Under Duress Rabbeinu Yonah HaChasid MiGirondi was one of the great Rishonim and cousin and mechutan of the Ramban.  He wrote the classic Sefer on Tshuva, Shaarei Tshuva.  Rav Chaim Volozhin writes about Shaarei Tshuva that when it comes to Mussar Seforim each person has a unique need and one sefer may be appropriate for him while another may be appropriate for someone else.  However, he says, Shaarei Tshuva can touch the heart of every Jew, in every era, in every circumstance, until the days of Moshiach.

In Shaar Sheini of Shaarei Tshuva, Rabbeinu Yonah explains that there are 6 things that should move a person to do tshuva.  Over the next days we will go through these circumstances.

The first circumstance is when you are having Tzoros.  Rabbeinu Yonah says that your first reaction must be that Hashem is punishing you for your aveiros.  Assuming that these troubles are merely happenstance is the worst way to react.  If a person does not repent after being struck by tzoros, his aveira is even greater and his punishment will increase in kind, as it says in the the Tochacha in Parshas Bechukosai.  Yirmiya tells Klal Yisroel (2:35) "Hineni Nishpat Oscha Al Amreich Lo Chatasi", Hashem will judge you for saying you have not sinned.

Hashem's punishment to a person for his aveiros is a great Chesed that serves a twofold purpose.  First, the pain and anguish that he suffers is a Kapara for his aveiros.  Second, it reminds him to do tshuva.  A person should therefore delight in punishment from Hashem and should thank Him for it. Micha says (7:8) "Ki Eishev BaChoshech Hashem Or Li", as I sit in darkness I know that the darkness will bring me great light.  The punishment will pave the way for better days ahead.

The amazing kindness in all this, says Rabbeinu Yonah, is that if someone wronged his friend and in his time of tzoros he regretted his wrongdoing simply because he needed help from his friend, surely his friend would not help him.  He does not really regret the wrongdoing he only is trying to get some help.  However Hashem has no such qualms and is happy to accept your Tshuva even under duress.

Thu, 02 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000