SIDEBAR - "Teshuvah"

Teshuvah is commonly translated as "repentance," however the latter term carries a different meaning in Judaism than typically found in other circles, where it generally means "being sorry for something and trying not to do it again."

Teshuvah is properly translated as "return," thus indicating an active role for the person performing teshuvah, as well as having a goal in mind. The goal in this case is God, or more precisely, the "image of God" (or Messiah, who is Himself in the image of God), that we are to "return" to. (i.e., Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 11:7, 15:49;  2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:4; Colossians 1:15, 3:10; Hebrews 1:3)

The active path of Teshuvah is three-fold:

  1. Prayer and meditation (your heart/emotion)
  2. Study of Torah (your soul/mind)
  3. Performance of the commandments and acts of kindness toward others (your strength/resources)

The above "formula" is based on the "Great Commandment" of Deuteronomy 6:5:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Of the three paths of teshuvah, Torah study is considered preeminent as it reveals Who you are praying to, how to pray, what the commandments are, and the proper motivation for doing good deeds.

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