Hebrew Word of the Month – Teshuvah

Our Hebrew word of the month is: תְּשוּבָה Teshuvah Teshuvah literally means “return”, but is usually translated “repentance”. Every human being is created in the […]

Our Hebrew word of the month is:

תְּשוּבָה
Teshuvah
Teshuvah literally means “return”, but is usually translated “repentance”. Every human being is created in the image of God, but layers of complexity often conceal the divinity within. Teshuvah means returning to your truest, purest, best self, returning to the God within that may never have been fully revealed, but has always been there. Teshuvah is a mitzvah every day of the year. It is one of the focal points of the daily prayer service. But the High Holidays are a time when we reflect on our own progress, and recommit ourselves to teshuvah.
Teshuvah requires concrete actions:
1. Recognize what you’ve done wrong, or recognize your patterns of destructive behavior.
2. If your bad behavior has hurt another person, apologize sincerely until they forgive you. If at all possible, find a way to repair the harm you did. Work with the other person to figure out how you might do that.
3. Confess before God. This is a private confession, an attempt to shift your own heart and seal your commitment to change.
4. Actual behavior change. Teshuvah has not been accomplished if the bad behavior continues.