9:1 “Return to Me and I will return unto thee.” (Malachi 3:7)
We often tell ourselves that as soon as Hashem sheds His light upon us, we will repent, do teshuvah. How we fool ourselves into thinking this way. Obviously it’s up to us to make the first step.
9:2 “Let thy garments always be white.” (Koheles 9:8)
A person shouldn’t wait to do teshuvah allowing the stains of their sins to set into their garment. Rather they should clean themselves immediately and return to Hashem. If stains have time to set into place, then they become harder to remove.
Know that Hashem should be revered and you should repent out of your fear of Him. Also know that Hashem is your friend. Someone you can feel comfortable to speak with.
9:4 “Give glory to Hashem before it grows dark and before your feet stumble upon the mountains of twilight, and, while you look for light, he turns it into the shadow of death, and makes it gross darkness.“ (Yirmiyah 13:16)
Even though the Garden of Eden is the greatest of light and reward, it is darkness as one can no longer give glory to Hashem. Now is the time to spread and show the greatness of Hashem.
9:5 “My flesh shudders in awe of You and I have feared your judgments.” (Psalms 119:120)
It is not enough for a person to just think about awe of Hashem. A person must etch this fear upon their very bones. Concentrate and imagine fear of Hashem flowing through your blood stream. Do this until one day you truly feel yourself shuddering at the mere though of standing before the King of Kings.
9:6 “For I know my offenses, and my sin is always before me.” (Psalms 51:5)
It is important for a person to always remember their sins in order to make sure to stay away from situations that may temp them once again. A person must understand their own weaknesses in order to be more on guard using their other strengths.
9:7 “I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the reproach of my youth.” (Yirmeyahu 31:18)
It is very difficult to accept and move on from the mistakes we make when we are young and naive. Nevertheless, we must repent and move forward. We have become better people because we have chosen to put our past behind us.
9:8 “Turn me back and I shall be turned.” (Jeremiah 31:17)
Sometimes we need Hashem to put us back in our place. It might take a little suffering and rebuke to steer us back to repentance. Would we rather Hashem just ignore us?
9:9 “Is this not stored up with Me, sealed up in My treasures?” (Devarim 32:34)
The great light sealed away is repentance. We must constantly search for this light, which is why it is so hard for us to repent wholeheartedly. The keys to repentance are hidden in the Torah.
“Let us search and try our ways and return to Hashem.” (Eichah 3:40)
We can only return to Hashem after fully searching our ways. It is not enough just to search and find our wrongs. This is the easy part. The hard part is trying to get back up. It is only after one gets back up and stays there that they have returned to Hashem.
“Because punishment for the evil deed is not meted out quickly, therefore, the hearts of men are full within them to do evil.” (Koheles 8:11)
We think just because we have not been rebuked yet, that it is permitted to sin just a little more. Is Hashem’s delaying of punishment a favor to us or worse of a punishment? Those closest to Him, he rebukes immediately in this world. If we sin and we don’t see any sign of Hashem rebuking us, we truly have become full of evil. We should repent immediately before it’s too late.
Rabbi Eliezer said, “Repent the day before you die.” (Pirkei Avos )
One of the worse things about sin is the precious time lost that cannot be recovered. If we realize the importance of every moment of life, we would repent immediately.
There is not a righteous man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not. (Koheles 7:20)
We must strive to be free of sin. But, absolute perfection is impossible because only Hashem can be perfect. If we had the ability to be faultless then we would think of ourselves as G-D like. The expectation of self-perfection can sometimes be angle of pursuit of the evil one. Should we not live up to our own expectations, we can become downtrodden and depressed. Therefore, King Solomon warns us not to take self-perfection to far.
“Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity” (Psalms 51:4)
What would you prefer? To have the weight of your sins on your shoulders or for Hashem to cleanse you from it so you can feel free? King David is saying here, “I’d rather suffer punishment from my sin then for it to be on my shoulders.”
heart of evil,
Torah is compared to water. It is the only thing that will cleanse a person’s heart and prevent evil from returning.
“Yet, even now, says Hashem, turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with lamentation.” (Yoel 2:12)
I don’t care how far you may have turned from me. Turn back to Me wholeheartedly and I will accept you with open arms.
“Because I declare my transgression and worry over my sin.” (Psalms 38:19)
A person can still worry about their sins even after they repent of them. This is because they are unsure whether their repentance was done wholeheartedly. How can we ever truly know if we have rectified our avairos. Therefore, it is important to recall them from time to time.
“The sacrifices of Hashem are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, o Hashem. You will not despair.” (Psalms 51:19)
If a person is brokenhearted about their actions, even this can be enough to not only serve as repentance but also completely rectify the sin itself with no further actions.