ELUL 1 (August 11): Joining in the Great Return, by Rabbi Alan E. Litwak
My teacher, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, taught:
“Teshuvah is the ever present possibility, urge, and gesture of returning to our Source, the Holy One of All Being. Through teshuvah all life is returned to its source. As Rav Kook teaches, it flows unnoticed throughout creation. Teshuvah is not simply apologizing or making right the damage we have done, though these are prerequisites. It is only this: The Return. Teshuvah is the hardest thing in the world . . . but it is also the easiest thing, since the process of teshuvah begins with the simple thought of wanting to begin.
More than just an individual gesture, teshuvah is a great world yearning that flows through and animates all creation. Through attempting to repair and heal what we have done in the past, we set it within a larger context of meaning and effectively rewrite the past. What was once only some thoughtless or even wicked act, now – when viewed from the perspective of our present teshuvah – becomes only the embarrassing commencement of this greater healing now realized.”