This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shuva for the first words of the Haftora, “Shuva Yisrael – Return Israel.” Some call it Shabbat Teshuva, because it is in The Ten Days of Teshuva.
Teshuva means “return to G-d.” On a basic level this means to regret your way, ask for forgiveness and get back on G-d’s path.
For a person who has broken trust and wants to once again be trusted, being remorseful and saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. He needs to reach higher, find a greater level of character and prove himself worthy.
However Teshuva could be so much more. Even the holiest of people can tap into the power of Teshuva.
The first verse in the Haftora reads: “Return Israel, until the L-rd your G-d.”
What does “until” mean? When you say “return,”it implies going back to a place or situation you were in before. What place are we speaking of here?
This takes us to a whole new level of Teshuva, to a place where we are in perfect harmony with G-d.
Each of us have a soul, a piece of G-d inside of us. It is our essence. Over time we could become so involved in the physical, mundane world that our soul gets forgotten. Even when doing mitzvot (commandments), they can be done out of habit, void of meaning.
Teshuva is connecting to your G-dly essence, your soul. It is a journey to your core, every step you take inward, brings clarity. You see how you are one with G-d, and that He loves you because you are part of Him. When you connect at this level, the lower levels of Teshuva are automatic.
How could you remain the same after connecting so deeply?
Regret and remorse over your previous state will overtake you, and you become closer to G-d.
Being that our souls are infinite, there is always deeper/higher levels to connect to. Through Teshuva even a Tzadik can find new levels of closeness to G-d.
Your essence is already there, your soul has always been at the highest level. You now have to “return until G-d,” return to where your soul is one with G-d. Since G-d is Infinite so is our journey, giving us the ability to get ever closer.
Suffering also brings us closer to G-d. We have suffered enough. Perhaps G-d wants our closeness to come from our own initiative.
In preparation for Yom Kippur, let us make the effort to get closer to G-d.
May He, with His Fatherly love, send Moshiach and gather the exiles and bring us home. May you be sealed for a good and sweet year. Moshiach NOW!!!