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Teshuva 2: God’s Desire



This essay is dedicated by Anonymous to the memory of my father zt”l: HaRav Shmuel Yaakov ben HaRav Yitzchak Matisyahu Weinberg. His Yahrtzeit is the 17th of Tammuz: God Desires Teshuva: This is the only blessing where we say that God wants something. Let’s say you are frustrated. I realize that what I am doing, or what I was doing, wasn’t right. But I don’t really feel that guilty about it. And I would like to do Teshuva. What you remember at that point is that God says, “I desire you to do Teshuva. I would like it, too.” This is the only blessing where God is asking us for something.

 

There is nowhere else where it says that God wants something. It doesn’t say that God wants to forgive us. The blessing says that He forgives us. The blessing doesn’t say that God wants to give us knowledge; it says that God gives us knowledge. The blessing doesn’t say that God wants to redeem us; it says that God redeems us.

God’s will is not limited at all. There are no limitations on God’s will at all. When you realize that God’s will isn’t limited, when we say in Shmone Esrei that God ‘desires our Teshuva,’ you have to know what that means. That’s the only thing we say in Shmone Esrei that God wants. We ask God to want other things, such as in Re’tzei. But the only thing we say that God wants is Teshuva. And God wanting something is not the same as our wanting something. I would like a million dollars. But I’m not going to go out and start investing to get the million dollars. I may want it; I don’t really want it that badly. There are no limitations to God’s will. The only thing that holds us back from doing Teshuva is not realizing the extent of God’s wanting our Teshuva. This is an important idea to keep in mind when we say ha’rotzeh b’teshuva. {RE: Olat Ra’ayah Rav Kook on Adon Olam}

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