Return vs Settle

וְאָשוּב אֵלֶיךָ בִּתְשוּבָה שְלֵמָה

I will return to You completely. (Rabénu Bachya’s personal prayer)

Rabénu Bachya’s poetry doubles the use of the verb shuv — שוּב — which expresses the idea of both “return” and “settle” (shav). The Hebrew word t’shuva — תּשוּבה — is correctly interpreted as “repent”, but more precisely it means “return to a settled state”. Rabénu Bachya was medieval Jewry’s foremost ethicist. His ethical insight requires complete return; returning to G!d is one thing, returning completely another. How does one return completely? By returning also to people we affect: in the Image of G!d were they created…

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם

Author: rector@metivta.ca

A chaplain, spiritual director, and educator, Arié Chark (“Reb Arie”) is Rector at The Metivta of Ottawa. A strong sense of personal mission has led Reb Arie to convene various civil society projects under the auspices of The Metivta of Ottawa, including the Ottawa Roundtable and the Abrahamic Chaplaincy Board.

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