Basic Teshuva in Two Steps

September 28, 2014 at 1:51 PM ,

Throughout the month of Elul, Beginning from Rosh Chodesh it is customary to blow the shofar everyday after Shachris – Rem”a, Orach Chaim 581:1

Teshuva
The Rambam writes that the stirring sounds of the Shofar convey the following message: ‘Be roused, sleepers, from your sleep, and slumberers, wake from your slumber; search your deeds and return in teshuvah…’ (Laws of Teshuva 3:4).

A careful analysis of the Rambam’s words shows that the path to Teshuva is a two-step process: one is to arouse and wake from the sleep or slumber, and the second to search your deeds.

While asleep, and especially if in a deep slumber, one has no urge to disturb his sweet sleep and awaken. The same is true of someone who is spiritually asleep, unaware and unconcerned about his spiritual state and conduct. In this state, he is uninterested in disturbing his peaceful and complacent attitude toward life at all. Therefore, his first step must be to shake out of his reverie and take heed to his spiritual condition.
In order to truly “return in Teshuva”, however, this general arousal must be taken to the next step, to “search your deeds”.

For the Teshuva resolve to be complete and successful, namely, to be determined to never again transgress G-d’s will,ד one must be aware and take particular notice of the specific areas in which he has failed in the past. Having shown a propensity to succumb to those temptations, he must be especially vigilant and make particular and strong resolutions in those areas, to enable himself to resist falling through again in the issues with which he struggled in the past.

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