Teshuvah | The Days of Repentance
By Richard Sison | 2016
The days of repentance, better known as Teshuvah, are the prelude and a preparation for the High Holy Days. As the Fall Feasts approach, one must be clear from his\her sins. However, people can and should seek forgiveness for wrong they have committed at any time. There are several stages of Teshuvah, including the sinner recognizing his\her mistakes, feeling and showing sincere remorse and doing everything in their power to undo any damage that has been done in the context of biblical precepts. The biblical restitution and the proper justice system can be found in the books of Exodus chapter 22 and in Leviticus, chapters 5 and 6. If a specific person has been wronged, the offender must ask that person for forgiveness. The final stage of teshuvah is resolving to never commit or avoid such a sin again.
The common Hebrew word for sin is averah, is from the root word avar, which means “to pass over,” therefore “transgression,” is going against G-D’s will. As mentioned earlier, the usual word for repentance is teshuvah, meaning to return or “turning”– (i.e., from sin to G-D). The sages teach that repentance is acceptable at any time, but the special time for repentance is the season from Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah) to Yom Kippur, also known as the Ten Days of Penitence (or Ten Days of Awe). In several rabbinic sources, repentance involves two things: remorse at having sinned and confession of the sin.
Repentance in Greek is "metanoia" which literally means compunction. It is an anxiety from awareness of guilt. It involves reformation or reversal of act. The biblical examples of true repentance teach us that we have to show G-D that we agree with Him that we transgressed His commandments and we have to show remorse and change of our ways. When we confess our sins, the L-RD forgives us and cleanses us from our unrighteousness. But, what does Confession mean? In 1 John 1:9, "confess" is the combination of two Greek root words "homo" and "logos". Homologeo would literally mean that we are in agreement with the word of G-D that we did commit sin. John defines sin in the clearest manner in 1 John 3:4 "Whosoever comitteth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
The seven R's why we have to observe Teshuvah:
1. To Remember from where we have fallen
2. To Repent from our transgression
3. To Re-direct ourselves to G-D
4. To Resume our fellowship with G-D and with man
5. To Re-kindle our love for G-D and fellow men
6. To Re-validate our salvation
7. To Refresh our souls
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Elders and Deacons of Light of Messiah Ministries Canada