Friday, August 20, 2010

On Teshuvah

“Know that it is necessary to judge each person favorably, and even someone who is completely evil, one needs to search for and to find in him some little bit of goodness, that in that little bit, he is not evil. By means of this, that one finds in him a little goodness, and judges him favorably, by this, one elevates him actually into favorable judgment and returns him in teshuvah... for how is it possible that there is within him no little bit of goodness at all – that he never did any mitzvah or good thing in his whole life? By means of this, you can find within him another small bit of good, a place within him that is not evil, and judge him favorably... until he returns in teshuvah...

... So too a person needs to find (a point of goodness) also within himself... even when he begins to look into himself and he sees that there is within him no goodness at all, and he is full of sins... even so it is not permitted to despair because of this, rather he needs to search and to find within himself some small point of goodness... and even if he begins to look at this good thing and he finds that it is full of flaws... despite all of this, he can extract from it some point of goodness, and continue to search for and collect other points of goodness and by means of this they will be made into niggunim ("melodies")... and then he will be able to pray and to sing and to give thanks to God...”

Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, on Teshuvah

No comments: