Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pulling out the Teshuva Whip


Last Friday, 1pm, Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, Bus No. 405 to Jerusalem.

I was sitting at the second row behind the bus driver. Right behind me sat an Israeli soldier of French origin. Behind the soldier sat a German tourist called Florian who constantly yelled into his cell phone speaking English with an annoying German accent.
I speak with a German accent too but hopefully I am not that annoying German.

A Sephardi guy with a black kipa is sitting down right across the soldier behind me and is immediately starting a conversation with him. How religious he is and when he started his Teshuva (becoming frum) process.
Oh, no, I thought. Now I have to suffer all the way to Jerusalem from this "Yes, my name is Florian" and the two newly BTs.

The balck kipa Sephardi announced that he had lived with a Schickse (Gentile woman) for the past six years. All bus passengers turned around and stared at him. He kept on shouting that this sinful relationship was over now and he is in the middle of his Teshuva thing. He said this to all of us just like apologizing for his Yetzer with the Schickse. Then he went on and on that he now keeps all Mitzvot. Within a minute he started but is still suffering from all his old sins. Probably including the particular relationship. In order to do real Teshuva, he needs to have 49 fasts.

I think I heard this concept once and it is the Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria) stating. It seems like a serious Tikun (soul rectification) but to me it just sounds like medieval torture. I have not been always following the Torah way and I still struggle but why should I fast 49 times ?

Yes, I know that this may sound lazy and selfish. However, I think that a serious Teshuva and intention is enough and G - d does not want to see us whipping ourselves. Start a new religious life and try to make everything better.

Whoever runs into Teshuva with this crazy mindset "now or never" will hardly remain religious. One day you are going to be so fed up that you just run over to the next cheeseburger stand and say "Le'Azalzel" with all that punishing myself. Instead, people should be patient and do Teshuva the right way. Slowly, slowly and not immediately beating themselves into one fast after the other.


  1. Do you know what that word you said means "Gentile woman" really means? It means "disgusting thing". Please don't use it.

  2. B"H

    A Gentile Woman is a non - Jewish woman and doesn't mean anything disgusting.

  3. no, anon means not to use the word shikse. i say, use it davke. also 'shvartze'. it is our language, we shouldnt be ashamed.