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Seven Levels of Teshuva: Yosef Part Three

Teshuva can change the course of history. The Talmud says that the Jews can bring the Redemption before its time if they do Teshuva.1  The seventh blessing of the Amidah speaks of redemption. Its position as the seventh blessing parallels the wars that will lead to the Redemption, wars that are the beginning of liberation. We are not praying for the wars2. We are praying for the redemption that will follow. More specifically, we are praying for the cycle of events that are the redemption to begin. We are praying for salvation as if we are ignoring the wars and the suffering they will bring. We are focusing on the good and disregarding the bad. I believe that by presenting the redemption in the seventh blessing, which corresponds to the year of war, we are asking for the redemption to occur without the anguish of the wars. Our prayers have the power to change the order of redemption.

It is necessary to focus on this point before we continue with the general discussion. We are praying with the assumption that our supplications possess the power to change the predetermined order of history. This idea means that our prayers are far more powerful than we first imagine. We can literally change the course of history. The assumptions behind the blessing of redemption are a compelling statement on the power of prayer. It is necessary to remember that our prayers are combined with the prayers of all previous generations and accumulate power.

Practical Steps:

  • Concentrate on the seventh blessing of the Amidah.
  • Use this idea of changing the course of history and speeding the Redemption in all the stanzas of Avinu Malkeinu that speak of the Redemption3.
  • Concentrate on speeding the Redemption through your Teshuva and prayers in the additions to the third blessing of the Amidah for the High Holidays4.
  • Pray that your Teshuva will speed the restoration of God’s kingdom through the Redemption in the Malchuyot section of Rosh Hashanah Musaf.

1 JT Ta’anit 3b2 Megilah 17b-18a3 אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ. כָּתְבֵנוּ בְּסֵפֶר גְּאוּלָּה וִישׁוּעָה:Our Father, Our King, inscribe us in the Book of Redemption and Salvation אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ. הַצְמַח לָנוּ יְשׁוּעָה בְּקָרוֹב:…Make salvation sprout for us soon.
אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ. הָרֵם קֶרֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ:…raise high the pride of Israel, Your people.
אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ. הָרֵם קֶרֶן מְשִׁיחֶךָ:..raise high the pride of Your anointed (The Messiah)4 וּבְכֵן תֵּן כָּבוֹד יְהֹוָה לְעַמֶּךָ, תְּהִלָּה לִירֵאֶיךָ, וְתִקְוָה טוֹבָה לְדוֹרְשֶׁיךָ, וּפִתְחוֹן פֶּה לַמְיַחֲלִים לָךְ, שִׂמְחָה לְאַרְצֶךָ, וְשָׂשׂוֹן לְעִירֶךָ, וּצְמִיחַת קֶרֶן לְדָוִד עַבְדֶּךָ, וַעֲרִיכַת נֵר לְבֶן יִשַׁי מְשִׁיחֶךָ, בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ:

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