Teshuva TODAY – Part 2


לזכות ידי”נ ר’ חיים יהושע בן ר’ אפרים הכהן וכל ב”ב לברכה והצלחה

Now we can understand the Rambam [Teshuva 3-3]: 

 וכשם ששוקלין זכיות אדם ועונותיו בשעת מיתתו כך בכל שנה ושנה שוקלין עונות כל אחד ואחד מבאי העולם עם זכיותיו ביום טוב של ראש השנה מי שנמצא צדיק נחתם לחיים ומי שנמצא רשע נחתם למיתה והבינוני תולין אותו עד יום הכפורים אם עשה תשובה נחתם לחיים ואם לאו נחתם למיתה:

Just as a person’s merits and sins are weighed at the time of his death, so, too, the sins of every inhabitant of the world together with his merits are weighed on the festival of Rosh HaShanah. If one is found righteous, his [verdict] is sealed for life. If one is found wicked, his [verdict] is sealed for death. A Beinoni’s [Mediocre person] verdict remains tentative until Yom Kippur. If he repents, his [verdict] is sealed for life. If not, his [verdict] is sealed for death.

EVERYONE and their Aunt Betty asks: Why does a Beinoni have to do teshuva? Let him do ONE extra mitzva and that will tip the scales in his favor??

MANY answers are given. based on what we said we can answer as follows. Even before the sin of Adam man had a set amount of years. After he finished those years he would go to higher and higher worlds and would not have to die. After the sin – man has to die in order to be elevated. If one is a Tzadik on Rosh Hashana then he goes back to that original point of Adam before the sin where he has a חזקת חיים and is not supposed to die. If he is not – then he loses his חזקת חיים. The ONLY way to get it back is teshuva.

The Gemara [Rosh Hashana 16b] says: 

א”ר כרוספדאי א”ר יוחנן שלשה ספרים נפתחין בר”ה אחד של רשעים גמורין ואחד של צדיקים גמורין ואחד של בינוניים צדיקים גמורין נכתבין ונחתמין לאלתר לחיים רשעים גמורין נכתבין ונחתמין לאלתר למיתה בינוניים תלויין ועומדין מר”ה ועד יוה”כ זכו נכתבין לחיים לא זכו נכתבין למיתה

 Rabbi Kruspedai said that Rabbi Yochanan said: Three books are opened on Rosh HaShana before the Holy One, Blessed be He: One of wholly wicked people, and one of wholly righteous people, and one of mediocre people whose good and bad deeds are equally balanced. Wholly righteous people are immediately written and sealed for life; wholly wicked people are immediately written and sealed for death; and mediocre people are left with their judgment suspended from Rosh HaShana until Yom Kippur, their fate remaining undecided. If they merit, through the good deeds and mitzvot that they perform during this period, they are written for life; if they do not so merit, they are written for death.

Why does Hashem need THREE books. Shouldn’t two be enough for the Tzadikim and Reshaim and the Beinoni’s will be written on one of those books on Yom Kippur?!!

Imagine you are in school and are a serious diligent student. You take notes, listen intently in class, do all of your homework etc. etc. In other words – you are a girl. 

Anyway – your teacher makes a group of EXCEPTIONAL students who have special classes and/or rights. How embarrassed you would feel if you weren’t accepted to this group. 

Or how about if all of your friends were accepted to Ivy League schools and you could only get into the local community college. How would you feel THEN? 

So is the SHAME and EMBARRASSMENT of the soul when it is written in the book of the Beinoniim. The Beinoni book is in order that people should have a kapparah by suffering the shame of not having “made the cut” of Tzadikim.

But there is a TKKUN!!! One who does TESHUVA FROM LOVE – תשובה מאהבה – is inscribed in the book of the Tzadikim. 

So that is our avoda – Teshuva from LOVE!! 

[עפ”י אורי וישעי פ’ ע”ד]