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Interestingly, Rabbi Kooks says that when a person’s will is purified through t’shuva, the happiness and goodness he discovers is not limited to himself, but rather, the happiness and goodness released from the bondage of sin fills the whole world. This is because, on the deepest level, the individual’s will for goodness is derived from the universal will for goodness which God has placed in the world. In strengthening his personal longing for goodness, he magnifies the will for good in existence as a whole.

T’shuva elevates a person above all of the baseness which exists in the world, but it does not estrange him from the world. To the contrary, he elevates the world and life with him. The forces which caused him to sin are purified in him. The powerful will which pierces all boundaries and caused him to sin is transformed into a positive force that brings great good and blessing. The nobility of life, stemming from the yearning for the realm of the holy, surrounds the heroes of t’shuva. They are the elite of existence, who call out for its perfection, for the victory over obstacles, for the return to true goodness and joy. They call out for the return to the exalted heights of true freedom, which befit a person who rises heavenward in accordance with his spiritual source and his foundation in God’s image” (Ibid, 12:1)

In setting one’s will on a course of t’shuva, in freeing oneself from the shackles of sin, from false idols, and from the illusions of worldly success, man discovers an incomparable happiness and nobility which extends beyond a person’s own life to elevate all of existence.

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May the coming year be filled with true success, for you, and for all of the Nation of Israel!

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