Speaker: Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld z”l.
00:00 – When a person returns to Hashem and His Torah, the mistakes of the past can be turned into mitzvos (positive deeds).
03:40 – What is teshuvah (repentance/return)?
05:18 – The greatest leaders of Israel were Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our teacher) and Dovid HaMelech (King David). Both made an error that caused them to be punished by Hashem. Even though these were not actual sins, each one’s mistake in judgement teaches us about the nature of teshuvah. Why does Moshe ask Hashem to publicize his mistake, while Dovid asks Hashem to hide his?
10:39 – It is a mitzvah to reveal and publicize the dishonesty of people who pretend to respect Hashem in public, yet dishonor Hashem in private.
11:43 – One who encourages others to Torah observance is protected from sin. In contrast, one who misleads others in their service of Hashem is not given the chance to repent.
13:55 – As Dovid HaMelech says in Tehillim/Psalms 16:10 – “You will not let your follower(s) to go down to the netherworld.” כִּי׀ לֹא־תַעֲזֹב נַפְשִׁי לִשְׁאוֹל לֹא־תִתֵּן חֲסִידְךָ לִרְאוֹת שָׁחַת: Although in this phrase the word “follower” is written as plural, it is read as singular. This hidden meaning supports the concept that a teacher is protected by the good he instills in his students.
15:21 – Tosefos speaks about Acher, who was a great scholar yet turned away from the Torah and became an atheist. He was misled when he saw a boy climb a tree to fulfill the mitzvah of “sending away the mother bird” – a mitzvah which is rewarded by “length of days” yet the boy fell and was killed. The most difficult mitzvah in the entire Torah is Kibud Av vaEym – respecting one’s parents. The easiest: “sending away the mother bird.” The reward for both of these mitzvos is the same: “length of days”. Acher’s mistake was to think that arichas yomim (length of days) means chronological time in the present material world, when it actually refers to spiritual reward in the next world, beyond the limits of time.
20:31 – Why was Acher punished in the next world if his student, Rabbi Meir, was a tzaddik?
22:11 – A person who says “I will sin and then repent” and then repeats this sin is in danger of not being given the chance to repent. Similarly, a person who says “I will sin and Yom Kippur will atone” is not forgiven through Yom Kippur. Sins that are between man and man are not forgiven until the person seeks forgiveness from the person against whom he sinned. “Stolen water is sweet.”
26:54 – No sin is greater than the power of teshuvah. The Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh interprets the words of chazal (Talmudic sages)in a positive light: that a person is always given the chance to repent, no matter how grave their wrongdoing.
28:54 – Resolving issues between man and man is debated by chazal. Rabbi Yirmiyahu seeks forgiveness from Rabbi Abba but endures disgrace. Rabbi Yirmiyahu prayed: “As is said Tehillim: ‘Hashem elevates a poor person from a garbage heap…’ so let this come true for me!”
33:10 – The Arizal says that Rav, the Chief Rabbi of Syria, was really Rabbi Abba, student of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai z”l. He served as the scribe who wrote down the Zohar Hakadosh as given over by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. When he tried to make peace with a a butcher who was disrespectful to her, he was insulted further. As a result, the butcher was suddenly killed in a work accident.
35:26 – Rav asks forgiveness of his student, Rabbi Chanina, 12 times over 12 years, but the student refused to make peace. Normally we only ask forgiveness 3 times. But Rav would not give up. Why was Rabbi Chanina stubborn on this point? This was actually done to prolong his own life.
38:23 – True teshuvah is accomplished through leaving the sin completely and not ever repeating it.