Recognizing our own selves: first steps to Teshuvah

looking inside is a forward step on the path to Teshuvah


“Levi met his old friend Reuben. Levi asked Reuben where he was living. Reuben answered him, telling him his present address. Levi’s eyes grew round with surprise when he heard the answer. ‘Surely that’s where Simon the infamous criminal is living’ he cried, ‘he must be making your life a misery.’………”

This is the beginning of a story that Rabbi Baruch Shalom Ashlag tells about ourselves. It is a story we can use to discover who we are and what we need to work with.

It is hard for us to see the truth about ourselves, according to the  scriptural saying “Love covers all iniquities,” and because we all naturally love ourselves, we actually don’t know that much about ourselves.

Yet, if we don’t know what we need to rectify how can we come to our true purpose?

“The light of the Torah brings a person back to the good way,” teach the Sages. How does this light work? Rabbi Yehudah Lev Ashlag, on being asked that question, answered, “The light of the Torah shows a person that his will to receive for himself alone is actually damaging him. Without this light he cannot throw it away.”

Listen to full podcast

This podcast (15 minutes) is dedicated to my mother, Chaya bat Sara Leah for a Refuah Shlemah, a perfect healing, by Elizabeth and Jonathan Topper




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