Naso: Chapter 4
Repentance
Synopsis

Rabbi Yehuda wonders why, if someone's sins actually harmed the whole universe, his repentance should help. Rabbi Yitzchak replies that when someone makes repentance it restores whatever he damaged above; repentance restores everything, including the man himself and the whole universe. We hear that although God has steeped the world in Judgment, He wishes the children of Yisrael to repent in order to better their position in this world and in the World to Come. We are told that Jonah's repentance saved a great many people in the world.

[Verse 28] We hear what the letters in the Holy Name have to do with repentance, that is Binah. This repentance is called life, and the "issues of life" are the souls of Yisrael. We are told of the importance of breath, and the words that issued from the mouth of God. The question arises where the breath that exists in the heathen nations comes from if the Shechinah does not dwell on them, and the answer is that not all faces are equal even among the children of Yisrael. We are told about another soul that hovers over a man's head that moves all his limbs to follow the precepts. There follows an elaboration of the sense of the Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chayah and Yechidah of Ruach that are drawn to a deserving person. We are told that there is a good kind of breath and a breath that is wicked. The countenance of the animal that resides in a person is apparent in the likeness that dwells on his face; upon every face is someone in charge over him. This is also true for the six days of creation, as there is no day that has no good in it, but not every person is able to enter into that goodness due to their unworthiness. There are various types of repentance, and all of them are good but they are not all equal. The most important thing is to study the Torah with awe and love for God; awe and love reside in the brain and the heart. We are told how the holy grades are able to discern anyone who has become impaired through his misdeeds, and how they distance themselves from him. And yet complete repentance causes God to return to him.