My Teshuva Allergy

My Teshuva Allergy

I’m personally somewhat allergic to doing teshuva. I don’t like thinking about stuff I do wrong, or how I’m bad. But teshuva is what we’re supposed to be doing right now during these 10 Days of Teshuva. So I tend to do it half-heartedly, with lots of rationalizations echoing in the background.
For example:1. Admit a wrongdoing: This year I didn’t always recite the blessing after I ate (but, let’s be realistic here! I’m a busy person! I’ve got EIGHT CHILDREN!) 
2. Regret that wrongdoing: I regret that I didn’t always recite the blessing after I ate (But I’m easily distracted by nature, that’s the way You made me!)
3. Commit to a plan to not repeat that wrongdoing in the future: I will post the after-blessings by the kitchen table, so I remember to say it (But, to be honest, I’m a baalat teshuva, the fact that I even say a blessing BEFORE I eat is a huge improvement!)
4. Verbally confess that wrongdoing to Hashem: I am sorry, Hashem, that I’ve often forgotten to say the after-blessing (But, seriously, with everything You’ve got on your plate, my own plate, and the blessings I recite or don’t recite over it are, I assume, nowhere near it!).
Anyways, I heard an explanation about teshuva that has made me feel more gung-ho about doing teshuva this year. Without the rationalizations. 
Rabbi Steinsaltz wrote: Imagine that you are millions of dollars in debt, and there is a millionaire who will pay off all your debts, on one condition: You need to tell him what your debts are.  
And that is how teshuva works as well. Teshuva doesn’t mean admitting I’m bad. Teshuva means telling Hashem what needs fixing in my soul so that He can. 


  1. ooh I like this solution a lot, thank you!

  2. Rav Steinzaltz’ explanation is spot-on. Thank you!!!

  3. Love it! g’mar k’siva tova!

  4. I totally relate to the rationalizing part! So validating to see it written out so clearly! Game chatima tova, kol habrachot vkol hayeshuot!

  5. Was gonna write wow and then saw that’s the general consesus.
    Amazing paradigm shift. Thank you.

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