Forgiveness, compassion, and teshuva….reflections on Shabbos Shuva

We will stand on Yom Kippur joyously receiving forgiveness for our sins that we atone for by fasting and davening sincerely from the heart. We are asking for Hashem to have compassion upon our soul and to forgive us and give us a good year,

Likewise, when we have a pained thought or a negative reaction, we have compassion upon the Shechina that agrees to be in exile in that thought, awaiting our recognition of Him and our use of real free will to go above our natural reactions. What may hold back our sincerity though is that we are not able to forgive the cause of that painful experience.

The good news is that the painful experience was sent by Hashem so that we could find in our limbic system the originating thought that is merely echoing upon the current circumstance. Long ago, Hashem designed our lives and our pure soul became ensnared according to His Design within a thought pattern, a coping mechanism, a trauma, a false belief or other formative impression SOLELY so that WE may have real free will to return our soul to Him. It might take us many years, decades or even a lifetime to untie the knot made so young. Key is to know that it IS a knot, and that there IS pure soul that is compassionate agreeing to be “alive” within this place. It is for us to notice our patterns and to have the emunah to face the challenge. And to know that opening the knot is JOYOUS and REDEMPTIVE and to not avoid it in favor our the cheap thrills of natural egoistic “victories.”

Here are some readings from Rabbi Elimelech Biderman’s Torah Wellsprings Yom Kippur as well as from the Alter Rebbe’s Iggeres HaTeshuva to fortify us in this work.

Excerpts from Torah Wellsprings
Iggeres HaTeshuva Alter Rebbe Ch 5 and 6 Hashem will return those who return

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