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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
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Madonna and Kabbalah Don’t Mix

The more you learn Torah, the more t’shuva you will be inspired to do — and the more t’shuva you do, the more Torah you are able to learn.
Torah scroll. (illustrative only)

Torah scroll. (illustrative only)
Photo Credit: Flash 90

If Joe has read Rabbi Kook writings on t’shuva, he has a sign letting him know if his path of t’shuva is on the right track. If he feels a joy in the learning of Torah, if he is able to clearly grasp its deep, mystical concepts, then his t’shuva is real. With each sin that is corrected, additional vistas of learning open before him. The most supreme enlightenment comes when he realizes in all of his being that cleaving to God is the greatest joy in life. Reaching this level, he will experience a profound humbleness, for, “How can any person feel an egotistical pride when he stands before the Source of all perfection, before the infinite light that transcends all blessings and praises?” (Orot HaT’shuva, 10:4).

When Joe, the stockbroker, realizes that t’shuva makes the world go round, and not the New York Stock Exchange, he has truly become a baal t’shuva.

It is impossible to speak about the relationship between t’shuva and Torah without mentioning the vital importance of prayer. Often, in the light of the Torah, when confronted by one’s wrongdoings and moral impurity, one longs for a far-reaching t’shuva which is clearly beyond one’s immediate grasp. At times, this great leap forward cannot be actualized until it is accompanied by heartfelt prayer. It is prayer which opens the stream of Divine assistance which is needed to overcome weakness and fear, hurdle over chasms of darkness, and redress every transgression of the past, so that ever-new perceptions can be grasped. King David was a master of t’shuva, and a master of prayer. To this day, his Psalms are our ladders to God.

To summarize, the more you learn Torah, the more t’shuva you will be inspired to do — and the more t’shuva you do, the more Torah you are able to learn.

So what are you waiting for???

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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