The Zohar/Rav Brandwein Writings
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The Month of Teshuvah (the Return)
With the help of Heaven
The upcoming Shabbos is called Shabbos Shuvah, named for the verse spoken by the prophet Hoshea, “Shuva (Return) Israel to Hashem your Lord.”
We need to understand; why is “regret and leaving sin” called Teshuvah? Behold, from birth, a person is created with a Yetzer Hara. If so, to where are they to return? Seemingly, it would have been better to say “completion” or “refinement” (rather than “return”). Furthermore, we need to understand, in general, why is the opportunity given to return, for if a person sinned, they should be punished, according to the rule of judgment?
We need to know that the source of a person’s qualities is the Sefiros. Man was created last, and his behavioral components were taken from the last Sefirah, which is the Sefirah of Malchus. This Sefirah is entirely called Din. The entire ego in a person comes from this Sefirah!
Therefore, the world was not able to maintain (its existence). This is the reason that Hakadosh Baruch Hu brought the Flood. Those generations were busy with thievery and murder; therefore, the world was destroyed. Those souls are called the souls from the world of Tohu (Chaos), since in their source, they are products of the Sefirah of Malchus, whose nature is Din.
Therefore, in such an existence, where everything is Din, there is no possibility of returning in Teshuvah, since the nature of man is just evil. Accordingly, whoever would sin, would be immediately punished. Therefore, it is written in the end of Parshas Bereishis, “And Hashem saw that the evil of man upon the Earth was great, and Hashem regretted that He had made man.”
This is what is written in the Midrash, “In the beginning, Hakadosh Baruch Hu created the world with the Attribute of Din. He saw that the world could not be maintained, so He combined with it the Attribute of Mercy.”
The meaning is: In the Sefiros, there is also the Sefirah of Binah, whose nature is the Attribute of Mercy. Therefore, Hakadosh Baruch Hu combined Malchus with the Sefirah of Binah. Then the world could be maintained. The meaning is: that we see, that in the nature of person, there are two qualities. The first is a great desire to only care about oneself and to obtain what one is lacking. On the second side, a person also has good qualities and mercy and help for others, a creative will and an emanation of goodness to the community.
The source of these two opposing qualities is that a person is created from the qualities of these two Sefiros: One is Malchus, the Attribute of Din, which only wishes to receive for itself. And the other one is Binah, which is the Attribute of Mercy, from which is emanated the desire to help others, etc.
The creation of these qualities in mankind (began) from the time of Avraham, our father. Therefore, from thereon, the world was called the World of Tikkun (Repair). This was not the case prior to this, when it was the World of Tohu (Chaos).
A result of the fact that a person has these two natures is that the person also has free choice. They can choose in which way they wish to behave, whether evil, or good.
In this state of combination of Malchus with Binah, there is the possibility of Teshuvah. When a person sins, the Sefirah of Malchus, which is included into Binah, closes off the Lights, so that they are unable to shine to the people, since in all places where Malchus is found, the nature of Malchus is to dominate with the force of Tzimtzum (restriction).
But when a person returns in Teshuvah, this means that they return Malchus to her place, and primarily, the Sefirah of Binah is active, which is the desire to emanate; then the world is operated according to the Attribute of Mercy, and the Divine effulgence flows to the people.
It is well known that all the Sefiros are hinted to in the name Havaya. The last letter, Hay corresponds to Malchus. When a person behaves not according to the Mitzvos of the Torah, they cause a separation between Malchus and the other Sefiros. And since Malchus is the vessel that receives the Lights, therefore, the flow is cut off. The Emanator is Yesod, the Tzaddik, hinted to by the letter Vav. Therefore, when a person returns in Teshuvah, they are returning the letter Hay, and then the name Havaya is complete. Therefore, a return to goodness is called Teshuvah vŠcUa§T because it stands for Tashuv Hay v cUa¨T (return the Hay) to the Vav. And may it be the Will of Hashem that we merit to a complete Teshuvah and a complete Geula (deliverance).