At some point in the midst of life’s successes, everyone must eventually fall. When you do, what’s the thing to do next? With what method do you move forward?
Sometimes, in order to keep moving forward, you need to move forward in a different direction. By recognizing that the path you are on does not lead to where you want to go, you commit the first step of T’Shuvah. Sometimes it’s difficult, however, to know in which direction to turn and how to proceed.
T’Shuvah is a complex concept and quite pervasive ‘round these parts. It’s what we are supposed to do, who we are supposed to represent to the outside world, and what we venture towards within ourselves. But what does it mean?
Traditionally thought of as “return” or “repentance,” T’Shuvah is what we are commanded to engage in during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). It’s the act of considering and accepting our misdeeds and the active attempt to both rectify our actions and return to holiness.
Different from other methods of forgiveness such as absolution, T’Shuvah is not something that you are granted but rather something you seek. It is up to the person who committed a regret-worthy act to make amends to all he has harmed. It’s about responsibility, and that’s not always easy.
Now, this is the difficult part. This is where you change your life. To continue T’Shuvah, you must take the necessary measures to ensure that a hate of the same nature will not reoccur.
At Beit T’Shuvah, T’Shuvah claims a large portion of everyday actions and practices. Groups, meetings, study sessions, and more involved projects here are all in some ways created for residents to engage in T’Shuvah for their own past. This way, similar mistakes in the future may be prevented. Here we learn that T’Shuvah is a way of life that drives a person to constantly excel and improve on his being. By continually examining our lives for actions we might regret, we take strides in becoming integrated human beings who face truth and righteousness instead of deceit and shadows.