Thursday, August 23, 2012

L'Hamtik haDaf by RPML: Brachos 23a

Brochas 23a

"Guard your foot when you go to the House of G-d (and be ready to hearken, rather than to offer a sacrifice of fools for they do not know to do evil")(Koheles 4:17)

...Do not be like the fools who sin and bring a sacrifice and they do not know whether they are bringing it on account of good, or whether they are bringing it on account of bad. HKBH says, they are unable to differentiate between good and bad, and yet they bring a sacrifice before Me!

The Ben Yehoyada quotes Chazal. "Teshuva of love converts intentional sins into merits, while teshuva of fear converts intentional sins into unintentional sins." How does one define teshuva shel ahava (love)? As an internal repentance where one's heart is filled with remorse brought on by a realisation that what is happening to the korban which one is bringing for one's sin, should in reality have happened to oneself. By contrast, if one brings a korban as a gift, because one believes it will appease G-d, this constitutes an external teshuva of limited value.

A man is a fool if he fails to grasp the above distinction, unable to distinguish how the appropriate mind set can be transformative. If he brings the korban with the right kavana, he converts his sin into "good," a source of merit for himself. Because, he instead brings it as a mere palliative, then notwithstanding that he has indeed brought a korban, he is left with "bad," namely, his sin.

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