Seven Levels of Teshuva Moshe Part One
Teshuva can Transform Sins into Mistakes and Even Merits
The Baal Shem Tov1 explained that if you sinned with passion you have learned to act with passion. The minute you have passion you know what it means to be a human being. The minute you know how to be a passionate human being you will have learned to live and act with passion. You will know how to perform Mitzvot with passion. When you learn to apply passion to your service of God you have taken the passionate sin and turned it into merit. You have learned from your sins how to be a better human being and servant of God.
This level of Teshuva, which parallels the fixing of the past of level two, can also transform the mistakes of the past into positive growth.
- Remember sins that were done with passion and apply that passion to your service of God.
The Talmud says that God grabbed Yeravam ben Nevat by his shirt and said, “Return and I, you and the son of Yishai2 will stroll together in Gan Eden.” Yeravam asked, “Who will be first?” God said, “The son of Yishai.” Yeravam said, “If so, I do not want to do it”
Rabbi Yonatan Eibushitz explains that if someone such as Yeravam, one of the worst sinners in history, someone who caused thousands of others to sin, did Teshuva, then people would realize that anyone could do Teshuva. If Yeravam would become such an example of the power of Teshuva all of his sins would turn into merit.3
We can turn our sins into merit by becoming examples of Teshuva for other people. When others see how we can change despite everything we have done in the past, all of our sins are transformed into merit. We must become examples of the power of Teshuva.
2 King David
3 Ya’arot Devash, Volume 1 121