The Art of Biblical Repentance


Reb Zusya was having a hard time wrapping his head around the whole teshuvah business. He was overwhelmed by a deeply Kabbalistic meditation from his teacher, Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezerich.

To keep things simple, Reb Zusya boiled the Maggid’s teaching down to five simple principles embodied by five verses from the Torah, each beginning with another letter of the word teshuvah, “return” or “repentance.”

T: Tamim – “Be sincere (tamim) with the Eternal your G‑d.”

Sh: Shiviti – “I have set (shiviti) G‑d before me always.

U: Ve-ahavta – “And you shall love (ve-ahavta) your fellow as yourself.

V: Bechol – “In all (bechol) your ways, know Him.”

H: Hatzne-a – “Discreetly (hatzne-a) walk with your G‑d.

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