D’ei Chochmah L’Nafshechah Parshas Shoftim
“You must give him the first of your shearing…”
The Repentance of the Letter
With the advent of the holy days of Elul, a Jew tends to think, “Who willguarantee that this time I will return to Hashem? Days and months have passed and Ihave tried so hard to repent. Despite this, I am still very far from truly changing for thebetter…”Although one is obligated to find workable strategies to return to his Creator byrectifying his actions every day, each person nevertheless feels that he cannot possiblyovercome his evil inclination—which re-gathers force against him every day. How cananyone really stand up to such a challenge? By what stratagem can one finally ridhimself of his
?Rebbe Nachman teaches that the first step through the gates of the repentance of Elul is to accept the embarrassment and shame that every Jew experiences in silence.
For the main goal of of
is to reach the level of
as symbolized by theletter
. This is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and represents the toweringlevel of
Sesima’ah. [Literally, this is the “Ancient Hidden One” and refers to thelevel of
—the higher level of
.] In terms of one’spersonal spiritual work,
this signifies a deep inner repentance that brings to true andlasting change.
The lesson was delivered at the third meal of Shabbos.