In this video, we hear Dr. Yedidah Cohen of Safed in Israel presenting a class and talking about repentance. She has a fascinating way of describing it, and I'm grateful to have this perspective to consider during the month of Elul prior to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in October this year.
Yedidah explains the Hebrew word Teshuva is from two words, Teshuv and Hei, meaning return to God. Our repentance is not supposed to be self-flaggelation at all. It is supposed to return us to our own true nature in our relationship with God.
What a blessing to enjoy this bedrock, eternal perspective during Elul 5779 and the High Holy Days of 5780.
August 21, 2019 is a very powerful day because it's Parsha Re'eh on Shabbat, and it's also Rosh Chodesh Elul. This is the day the gates of Teshuva open, according to the Ari. Rabbi Alon Anava explains in the video below.
Following is Chapter 27 of Psalms. Reading it every morning and evening from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur will, according to the Ari, assure a great year filled with blessings, and it will even annul a scheduled harsh decree.
All difficulties will be annulled for me and my family. We will all be judged favorably. All 13 channels of compassion are open for us now.
1Of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; from whom shall I be frightened? אלְדָוִ֨ד | יְהֹוָ֚ה | אוֹרִ֣י וְ֖יִשְׁעִי מִמִּ֣י אִירָ֑א יְהֹוָ֖ה מָע֥וֹז חַ֜יַּ֗י מִמִּ֥י אֶפְחָֽד:
2When evildoers draw near to me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies against me-they stumbled and fell. בבִּקְרֹ֥ב עָלַ֨י | מְרֵעִים֘ לֶֽאֱכֹ֪ל אֶת־בְּשָׂ֫רִ֥י צָרַ֣י וְאֹֽיְבַ֣י לִ֑י הֵ֜֗מָּה כָּֽשְׁל֥וּ וְנָפָֽלוּ:
3If a camp encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; if a war should rise up against me, in this I trust. גאִם־תַּֽחֲנֶ֬ה עָלַ֨י | מַֽחֲנֶה֘ לֹֽא־יִירָ֪א לִ֫בִּ֥י אִם־תָּק֣וּם עָ֖לַי מִלְחָמָ֑ה בְּ֜זֹ֗את אֲנִ֣י בוֹטֵֽחַ:
4One [thing] I ask of the Lord, that I seek-that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the pleasantness of the Lord and to visit His Temple every morning. דאַחַ֚ת | שָׁאַ֣לְתִּי מֵֽאֵת־יְהֹוָה֘ אוֹתָ֪הּ אֲבַ֫קֵּ֥שׁ שִׁבְתִּ֣י בְּבֵֽית־יְ֖הֹוָה כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיַּ֑י לַֽחֲז֥וֹת בְּנֹֽעַם־יְ֜הֹוָ֗ה וּלְבַקֵּ֥ר בְּהֵיכָלֽוֹ:
5That He will hide me in His tabernacle on the day of calamity; He will conceal me in the secrecy of His tent; He will lift me up on a rock. הכִּ֚י יִצְפְּנֵ֨נִי | בְּסֻכּוֹ֘ (כתיב בְּסֻכֹּה֘) בְּי֪וֹם רָ֫עָ֥ה יַ֖סְתִּירֵֽנִי בְּסֵ֣תֶר אָֽהֳל֑וֹ בְּ֜צ֗וּר יְרֽוֹמְמֵֽנִי:
6And now, my head will be raised over my enemies around me, and I will sacrifice in His tent sacrifices with joyous song; I will sing and chant praise to the Lord. ווְעַתָּ֨ה יָר֪וּם רֹאשִׁ֡י עַל־אֹֽיְבַ֬י סְֽבִֽיבוֹתַ֗י וְאֶזְבְּחָ֣ה בְ֖אָֽהֳלוֹ זִבְחֵ֣י תְרוּעָ֑ה אָשִׁ֥ירָה וַֽ֜אֲזַמְּרָ֗ה לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
7Hearken, O Lord, to my voice [which] I call out, and be gracious to me and answer me. זשְׁמַע־יְהֹוָ֖ה קוֹלִ֥י אֶ֜קְרָ֗א וְחָנֵּ֥נִי וַֽעֲנֵֽנִי:
8On Your behalf, my heart says, "Seek My presence." Your presence, O Lord, I will seek. חלְךָ֚ | אָמַ֣ר לִ֖בִּי בַּקְּשׁ֣וּ פָנָ֑י אֶת־פָּנֶ֖יךָ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֲבַקֵּֽשׁ:
9Do not hide Your presence from me; do not turn Your servant away with anger. You were my help; do not forsake me and do not abandon me, O God of my salvation. טאַל־תַּסְתֵּ֬ר פָּנֶ֨יךָ | מִמֶּנִּי֘ אַל־תַּט בְּאַ֗ף עַ֫בְדֶּ֥ךָ עֶזְרָתִ֥י הָיִ֑יתָ אַל־תִּטְּשֵׁ֥נִי וְאַל־תַּֽ֜עַזְבֵ֗נִי אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׁעִֽי:
10For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord gathers me in. יכִּֽי־אָבִ֣י וְאִמִּ֣י עֲזָב֑וּנִי וַֽ֜יהֹוָה יַֽאַסְפֵֽנִי:
11Instruct me, O Lord, in Your way, and lead me in the straight path because of those who lie in wait for me. יאה֚וֹרֵ֥נִי יְהֹוָ֗ה דַּ֫רְכֶּ֥ךָ וּ֖נְחֵנִי בְּאֹ֣רַח מִישׁ֑וֹר לְ֜מַ֗עַן שֽׁוֹרְרָֽי:
12Do not deliver me to the desires of my adversaries, for false witnesses and speakers of evil have risen against me. יבאַל־תִּ֖תְּנֵנִי בְּנֶ֣פֶשׁ צָרָ֑י כִּ֥י קָֽמוּ־בִ֥י עֵֽדֵי־שֶׁ֜֗קֶר וִיפֵ֥חַ חָמָֽס:
13Had I not believed in seeing the good of the Lord in the land of the living! יגל֗וּ֗לֵ֣֗א֗ הֶֽ֖אֱמַנְתִּי לִרְא֥וֹת בְּטֽוּב־יְהֹוָ֗ה בְּאֶ֣רֶץ חַיִּֽים:
14Hope for the Lord, be strong and He will give your heart courage, and hope for the Lord. ידקַוֵּ֗ה אֶל־יְהֹ֫וָ֥ה חֲ֖זַק וְיַֽאֲמֵ֣ץ לִבֶּ֑ךָ וְ֜קַוֵּ֗ה אֶל־יְהֹוָֽה: