The essence of repentance is in the heart, for through remorse from the depths of the heart one arouses the depths of the Supreme Light. In order to elicit this light so that it radiates in the upper and lower worlds, it is essential that there be a tangible “awakening from below,” in the form of an active deed, such as charity and kindness, that is without limit and measure.
For insofar as man bestows the Divine Attribute included in this week’s portion, in the list of the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Compassion, Rav Chesed upon the poor and destitute who have nothing of their own, without setting a limit and measure to his giving and distributions, God likewise emanates His light and benevolence in the form of Chesed Ila’ah, referred to as Rav Chesed, which radiates infinitely within the upper and lower worlds, without limit and measure. For in relation to Him, all are in a state of destitution, for they possess nothing of their own and are as naught before Him. All the blemishes that man caused above, in the upper and lower worlds, through his iniquities, are rectified thereby.
This may explain the verse, “To do charity and justice is more acceptable to God than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3).” Sacrifices are restricted by measure, quantity, and limit, while charity has no limits. One may give away all he owns without restraint in order to atone for his transgressions.
As for the ruling of the Rabbis that “a liberal donor should not squander more than a fifth,” this applies only to one who has not sinned, or who has already repaired his sins by means of fasts, as required for the rectification of all blemishes Above. But for one who still needs to remedy his soul, surely the healing of the soul is not inferior to the healing of the body, where money does not count, as it is written, “Everything one has he will give for his life (Job 2:4).” [Iggeret HaKodesh, Chapter 10]
“Heal us, God, then we will be healed.” Although it seems obvious that if God heals us we will be healed, this blessing in the Amidah, teaches us that there are 2 levels of healing: the healing of our soul below, and the healing of any damage caused by our iniquities in the world Above. It is not enough to pray for such healing without an accompanying action such as charity. We pray that our charity join with our prayer in order to affect healing both Above and Below.