Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah Chapter 11, Class 5

Tanya/ Iggeres Ha’Teshuvah – The Epistle on Repentance, Chapter 11,  Class 5


However, this thrice-daily recitation of G‑d’s assurance of forgiveness is not [the attitude of one who says,] “I will sin and [later] repent,” concerning whom our Sages say, “He is not granted an opportunity to repent.”18

וְאֵין זֶה “אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב”,

For that is relevant only if while committing the sin, he could have overcome his evil impulse but depended in his heart on repenting [later].

כִּי הַיְינוּ דַוְקָא שֶׁבִּשְׁעַת הַחֵטְא הָיָה יָכוֹל לִכְבּוֹשׁ יִצְרוֹ, אֶלָּא שֶׁסּוֹמֵךְ בְּלִבּוֹ עַל הַתְּשׁוּבָה,

Since it was [the opportunity for] repentance that caused him to sin, “He is not granted an opportunity [to repent],”

וְלָכֵן, הוֹאִיל וְהַתְּשׁוּבָה גּוֹרֶמֶת לוֹ לַחֲטוֹא – “אֵין מַסְפִּיקִין וְכוּ’”.

and even then, he is not granted an opportunity.

וְאַף גַּם זֹאת “אֵין מַסְפִּיקִין” דַּיְיקָא,

However, if he pressed forcefully and overpowered his evil impulse and did repent,

אֲבָל אִם דָּחַק וְנִתְחַזֵּק וְנִתְגַּבֵּר עַל יִצְרוֹ וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה –

then his repentance is accepted.

מְקַבְּלִין תְּשׁוּבָתוֹ.

This all applies to a situation where a person indeed says, “I shall sin and [later] repent.”

However, we, who plead daily, “Forgive us,”

אֲבָל אָנוּ שֶׁמְּבַקְשִׁים בְּכָל יוֹם: “סְלַח לָנוּ” –

preface that prayer by saying, “Bring us back with a perfect repentance before you,”

אָנוּ מַקְדִּימִין לְבַקֵּשׁ: “וְהַחֲזִירֵנוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה שְׁלֵימָה לְפָנֶיךָ”,

so that we revert no more to folly and sin no more.

דְּהַיְינוּ שֶׁלֹּא נָשׁוּב עוֹד לְכִסְלָה,

On Yom Kippur, too, we ask, “May it be Your will that I sin no more.”

וְכֵן בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְבַקְשִׁים: “יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ שֶׁלֹּא אֶחֱטָא עוֹד” –

Hence, since one does not rely on one’s ability to repent later:

Opportunity is abundantly granted [for repentance].

מַסְפִּיקִין וּמַסְפִּיקִין,

As our Sages teach: “Whoever comes to purify himself [of his sin] is given assistance.”19

כְּמַאֲמַר רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: “הַבָּא לִטַּהֵר מְסַיְּיעִין אוֹתוֹ” –

The expression “whoever comes” [indicates that he is granted assistance] as soon as he comes,

“הַבָּא” דַיְיקָא, מִיָּד שֶׁבָּא.

and the pardon and forgiveness are thus also granted forthwith.

וְאֵי לָזֹאת, גַּם הַסְּלִיחָה וְהַמְּחִילָה הִיא מִיָּד.




18.  Yoma 85b.

19.  Shabbat 104a; Yoma 38b.

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