Rosh Hashanah-Dania Halperin

Posted on September 23, 2014

Teshuva and Repenting are two very different things. According to Google “to repent” means: “To feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.” The christen view of repenting requires the sinner to confess his sins to a priest every Sunday. This process “thoroughly cleanses” the person and he is pure once again only to sin again and repeat the process over and over again.  In Judaism we don’t repent, we do Teshuva. This is very different. The word Teshuva comes from the root word Shuv “to return.” What are we returning to exactly? People think that Teshuva means we have to change and become a whole new person but that’s not true either.  When we do Teshuva we are returning to ourselves and becoming who we are meant to be.  We are not supposed to turn into what others say we have to be.  Doing Teshuva is becoming real with ourselves and focusing on improving, not changing ourselves entirely. Improvement brings change. You cannot change without improving first. When we improve as people we give ourselves time to select goals, adapt to them, and reach those goals step by step.  Hashem gave us Rosh Hashanna to figure out who we really are. We need to have confidence and know ourselves well enough to admit and acknowledge what we know we have to change.  Failure comes with being human. We are imperfect beings who have a tendency to make mistakes. We are not perfect and will never be perfect. But yet we strive for perfection.  The perfection we are striving for is not true perfection but the idea that we can be the best we can be. Once we are doing our best to become better people, we are only gaining and that in itself is a form of perfection. We reach perfection when we know we are doing the right thing in the best way we possibly can.  Teshuva is not about becoming a new and perfect person. It is about improving yourself and achieving your own special form of perfection. Everyone is too different to be one kind of perfect. So this Rosh Hashanah focus on who you are and what you want to improve. Your positive intention and actions will always help you improve and help you become your own form of perfection.