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The Judaism of Tomorrow
My Rav Kook
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#41 Don’t Misunderstand the Givens of the Process
8Collections 2:207; Glimmerings of Penitence 14:3; Patches of Clarity

When we begin the process of Teshuva we must know that nothing stands in the way.

And even those twenty-four things which hinder repentance1 no longer hinder

as soon as we seek to repent for them.2

And a person should not dismiss any inclination he feels towards penitence as unimportant,

not the tiniest of trivial [ideas], on grounds of its inconsequentiality,

saying that this little idea is not worthy of the level at which the person reckons himself;

and not the most enormous idea,

saying that it is beyond his own worth.

For everything rises and fuses together into one complete structure,

and into a whole world of Teshuva,

which is more valuable, magnificent and ancient than all other worlds.3

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Footnotes

  1. Rambam, Hilchot Teshuva 4:1-6. The sins listed and categorized by the Rambam as hindrances for Teshuva are not the ones that might ordinarily come to mind when imagining sins that could impede repentance. The Rambam’s inventory of the sins that are difficult to atone for includes a person diverting his friend from the path of goodness, or mocking one of the ten commandments, or finding a lost object and not posting a public notice, or partaking of a meal when there isn’t enough for the host. Back to text
  2. Hilchot Teshuva, op. cit., 4:6. Back to text
  3. See Bereishit Rabba 1:4, s.v. Berei’shit bara’. Teshuva was created before the world. Back to text
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