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Tanya In Simple English – Chapter 11 – Iggeres Hateshuva

However in order for a person to both contain humility which is the lower Teshuva and also Joy in God simultaneously, it already has been stated in Likuitei Amarim Chapter 34 what it says in the Zohar that one can contain both Joy in one side of the heart and sadness in the other – particularly when we contemplate and we really have faith in and trust God that He is merciful and compassionate and just wants to be good and is very forgiving – in fact as soon as somebody asks God for forgiveness He forgives us immediately (without any doubt whatsoever.)

And just as we say every day in prayers – in Shemoina Esrei –  we ask God to forgive us, and then say a blessing, “Blessed are you God, who is very forgiving” and we know that if there’s a question if a blessing is correct or not, we do not say it, so this means that we have no doubt whatsoever that as soon as we ask God for forgiveness we are forgiven and if we would not return to sin then we would immediately be redeemed as we say in the next blessing, “Blessed are you God who will redeem the Jewish people.”

Now when it comes to people, a person must be very forgiving…. that is as soon as someone requests for forgiveness they should not be strong-headed and stubborn, rather should forgive as soon as a person requests forgiveness – in fact if a person requests three times for forgiveness but did not receive a pardon they need not request again.

King David requested forgiveness from the Givoinim – over the fact that Saul had killed some of them – and they did not wish to forgive, so David decreed that they should not marry into the Jewish people – as they lacked compassion – so if this is the case by people… how much infinitely more so God.

Now just as we praise God and bless Him that, “He is abundant in forgiveness;” specifically, that he is abundant in forgiveness – for if a person sins against another person and request their pardon and they forgive them and then they do it again.. it is very hard for them to forgive them a second time… and how much more so a third and a fourth time…. however when it comes to God, there is no difference between the first time and the thousandth time – for forgiveness is one of His compassionate traits, and His traits / emotions have no limitation, they are infinite as the verse says, “You’re compassion is never ending.”

Now relative to the Infinity of God, there is no difference at all between the small number to a large number – for both of them are nothing compared to Infinity.

For this reason He forgives us every single year and all the sins that we confess annually, even though we may transgress them again, He forgives us, every single Yom Kippur, and so on forever.

Now this is not the case only on an annual basis, but actually on a daily basis – for three times a day we ask God to forgive us, as our sages say, that the prayer corresponds to the daily sacrifices – now the morning sacrifice atones for the sins at night, and the afternoon sacrifices atone for the day, and this occurred everyday indefinitely.

It is but that Yom Kippur atones for very serious sins, while the daily sacrifice atones only for the transgression of not fulfilling positive Commandments.

Now prayer these days replaces the sacrifice, if it is accompanied with Teshuva.

Now this is not violating the prohibition to not rely on Teshuva.

Such a circumstance is only if a person relies on the Teshuva during the sin, therefore because the Teshuva caused the sin, he is not granted the opportunity to do it, but even so, this does not mean that he cannot overcome his Yetzer Hara and do Teshuva, for Teshuva is always accepted.

Now we who request God’s pardon daily, we preface the request with “Please bring us to complete Teshuva before you” – in other words that we should not be foolish again – and similarly on Yom Kippur we ask God that we shouldn’t sin again, so for people such as us, we are greatly assisted in doing Teshuva, as it says, “Those who wish to do Teshuva are assisted from above” – in other words as soon as they wish to do so… and the pardon comes from God immediately as well.

Now this that it states that “My sin is continually before me” this does not mean that a person should be downhearted all the time – for the verse says after that, “Bring me joy and gladness.”

Rather as a person needs to be continually in the higher Teshuva, which contains great joy as mentioned before – therefore a person has to have only in the back of their minds the idea that they have sinned in the past – the purpose of this is only that they should not become arrogant and that they should be humble before all people when they bear in mind that they have sinned before God.

In fact recalling one’s sins is actually a tremendous catalyst for Joy for this causes that instead of getting angry at circumstances that do not go our way we can rationalize them – that it was due to a previous sin (and this is a great way to prevent oneself from getting angry and holding resentment against others.) As our sages say, “The best people are those that who though they may be shamed they do not retort, they serve God from joy, in fact rejoice even in their suffering” – and we know that it says, “Whoever can overcome their anger and resentment, God forgives them of all their sins.”

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