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Michael Laitman, PhD

What is Repentance?

Q: Baal HaSulam writes that one acquires desires to give by repentance, and then becomes qualified to receive pleasure from the Creator. What, then, is repentance for a Kabbalist?

A: To repent means to return to the previous situation, but with a changed self. Otherwise, if the preliminary situation had not changed, and if we had not changed, it would have been the same situation.

Repentance is the return of the soul to the Creator, the place where it came from to this world. In the beginning, the Creator created a desire to receive. That desire was created without intent and was therefore called an “embryo.”

By a gradual intensification of the aim “for me,” the desire to receive moves farther and farther from the Creator until it is completely opposite to Him. The state where all the desires aim “for me” is called “our world,” or “this world.”

In that situation, the desire feels nothing but itself, and that sensation is called “body” (a person in this world).

If the desire changes its intent from “for me” to “for the Creator,” then the change in the intent causes the desire to return to its preliminary situation, and it becomes like an embryo in the Creator. Each situation in the spiritual realm is measured against the Creator, and determined in relation to Him.

The more the attributes of the creature equalize with those of the Creator, the nearer the creature is regarded to the Creator, and vice versa.

With the aim, “for the Creator,” the desire changes its quality and is turned from a “receiver” into a “giver.” In this way, it equalizes with the Creator. The creature feels himself not as before – a point, or an embryo – but as something complete and whole and equal to the Creator.

In its equivalence with the Creator, the will to enjoy senses everything the Creator senses: unbounded pleasure, eternity and perfection. That is the purpose of creation.

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