Likutei Amarim Chapter 7, Class # 3

או עד שיעשה תשובה גדולה כל כך שזדונות נעשו לו כזכיות ממש

Or, until the sinner repents in the manner presently described, in which case the sparks of holiness need not remain in the clutches of the kelipot until the End of Days; they may even be freed, and restored to holiness, when he (the sinner)repents so earnestly that his premeditated sins become transmuted into veritable merits.

שהיא תשובה מאהבה מעומקא דלבא, באהבה וחשיקה ונפש שוקקה לדבקה בו יתברך

This is achieved through “repentance out of love (of G‑d),” coming from the depths of the heart, with great love and fervor, and from a soul passionately desiring to cleave to the blessed G‑d,

וצמאה נפשו לה׳ כאר׳ עיפה וציה

and thirsting for G‑d like a parched and barren soil thirsts desperately for water.

להיות כי עד הנה היתה נפשו באר׳ ציה וצלמות, היא הסטרא אחרא, ורחוקה מאור פני ה׳ בתכלית

For inasmuch as till now until he repented his soul had been in a barren wilderness and in the shadow of death, which is thesitra achra, and had been far removed from the light of the Divine Countenance, in the greatest possible measure,

ולזאת צמאה נפשו ביתר עז מצמאון נפשות הצדיקים

therefore, now that he “repents out of love” his soul thirsts for G‑d even more intensely than the souls of the righteous who have never sinned.

The righteous tzaddik, ever close to G‑d, is like one who always has water near at hand — his thirst is never so intense. The penitent, however, finds himself as if in a desert, where the very absence of water causes his thirst to burn with greater intensity.

כמאמרם ז״ל: במקום שבעלי תשובה עומדים כו׳

As our Sages say:3 “Where penitents stand…[not even the perfectly righteous can stand]. For, as explained earlier, the tzaddik lacks the penitent’s intense yearning for G‑d.

ועל תשובה מאהבה רבה זו אמרו שזדונות נעשו לו כזכיות, הואיל ועל ידי זה בא לאהבה רבה זו

[Only] concerning repentance out of such great love has it been said4 that [the penitent’s] premeditated sins become, for him, like virtues, since through them (through the sins which previously had distanced him from G‑d) he attained when he repented to this great love. Thus, his sins affected him in the same way as mitzvot: they brought about within him a greater love of G‑d.

In summary: It is possible even now, before evil completely disappears from the earth, to extricate the vitality of forbidden acts from the kelipot, through “repentance out of love of G‑d.”

אבל תשובה שלא מאהבה זו, אף שהיא תשובה נכונה, וה׳ יסלח לו, מכל מקום לא נעשו לו כזכיות

But in the case of repentance that does not come from such love, though it be proper repentance, and G‑d will surely pardon him, nevertheless [his sins] are not transformed for him into the equivalent of virtues.

ואין עולים מהקליפה לגמרי עד עת ק׳, שיבולע המות לנצח

They are not released and hence do not completely ascend from thekelipah so that no trace of the sin remains5 “until the end of time,” when6 “death will be swallowed up forever.”

Thus we have learned that the energy of forbidden foods and illicit coition is released from the kelipot only when one repents out of love or when evil ceases. Now we shall learn that in the case of one specific prohibition, ordinary repentance can accomplish what normally requires “repentance out of love.”

3. Berachot 34b
4. Yoma 86b.
5. Daniel 11:35.
6. Cf. Yeshayahu 25:8.

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