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The Importance Of Teshuvah

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - The Importance Of Teshuvah 📙

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What is the importance of Teshuvah?


Our Sages taught ( Kiddushin 40b): One must always consider himself to be in the position of exactly between the realms of guilt and merit. Likewise, he should consider the entire world to be exactly between the realms of guilt and merit. He must realize that in this position, if he will perform one mitzvah, he will receive credit for having tipped the scales for himself to the side of merit and he has saved himself and the entire world calamity, as the Pasuk says ( Mishle 10:25), "The righteous man is the foundation of the world." If he will perform one sin, however, woe unto him for he has to pediatric the scaled for himself and for the entire world to the side of guilt and he has brought about his and their destruction. [See Footnote 1] We see from this how all of us have the ability to literally change the whole world! It is upon all of us to use our actions and make the world a better place.

Nonetheless, someone who has committed many sins but has repented sincerely should not think that he is permanently blemished and is far below the exalted level of Tzadikim who never succumbed to sin. On the contrary, this person is beloved by Hashem as if he had never sinned at all. Furthermore, he has earned enormous reward because he has overcome his desire to sin and broken his nature to desist from practices that he has learned to enjoy freely. Our sages have taught ( Berachot 34b; Sanhedrin 99a), "Even perfect Tzadikim who have never sinned cannot enter the level where those who have repented sincerely for their sins." These people are greater than those who have never sinned since they have worked harder to gain control over their Evil instincts. [2]

In a future Halacha Moment we will IYH discuss the basic steps of Teshuvah.


[1]. See Rambam, Halachot Teshuvah, 3:4.

Maran in Chazon Ovadia, Yamim Nora’im, p. 209, wrote that it is wrong for anyone to judge himself as a wicked person, as our sages taught ( Avot 2:13), "Do not consider yourself to be a wicked person."

See also Yalkut Yosef, English Edition, Yamim Nora’im, p. 269.

[2]. Rambam, Halachot Teshuvah, 7:4.

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