I love Elul! The feel of fall is in the air, most obvious in the early mornings since daytime temps are still reaching up to and over 100 degrees here in north Texas now.
I want to share what Rabbi Yitzchak Schwartz wrote about Teshuva, It gives me a sense of hope and encouragement to consider the power of return to humility and forgiveness during the High Holy Days each year.
"Teshuva involves different kinds of intentions and different levels of intentions, on a scale of higher to lower. Probably the highest level of intention is Teshuva from love, meaning a person doesn’t change ways because he’s afraid of punishment, of hell (which is another level of Teshuva), but because he feels bad that he didn’t take advantage of his relationship with G-d. This type of Teshuva elicits results which are much higher, raising up the sins a person commits to become merits instead."
Rabbi Yitzchak Schwartz, ParadisePrinciple.com