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The Search: Accessing the Universal Soul

The 9th of Elul is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Tzadok HaKohen Rabinowitz of Lublin: When a person repentance, forgiveness is granted both to him and and to the entire world, as our sages declared, “Great is repentance, because for the sake of a single person who repents, the entire world is forgiven (Yoma 86b).”


How does one person’s repentance bring about forgiveness for the entire world? This happens because the penitent awakens thoughts of teshuvah in the hearts of others. But not everyone has the capacity to be this person. Such a person has not yet existed, for that unique person will only be the Messiah, the son of David.

His soul must comprise all other souls. Otherwise a person’s thoughts of teshuvah cannot evoke thoughts of teshuvah in others who are unrelated to his soul.

More over, it is necessary for the thought of repentance to affect all aspects of his soul. One who encompasses the entire world possesses in his soul the plenitude of powers of the entire world; and if he repents with only one power, he can arouse repentance only with in those others who are dependent upon this one power.

King David possessed a soul that encompassed all other souls, for he was the“Fourth leg of the Divine Chariot (Zohar III, 262b),” and assume that the yoke of repentance solely for the transgression of desire.

Other individuals who repent have the ability to evoke teshuvah only in souls who are dependent upon them, and then, only with the specific power concerning which they repent. (Tzidkat ha-Tzaddik #159)

Part of our “Seeking,” during the month of Elul is to access all the different powers in creation and to connect to as many other souls as possible in order to inspire them in teshuvah.

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