Probably the most amazing phenomenon of Judaism is the concept of Teshuva, which we usually, if mistakenly, translate as “repentance”. Rather than being a simple process of regret for the past and a resolve to do better in the future, proper Teshuva can mean that one’s present and future will not be clouded in any way by past mistakes, which makes this one of the most important and uplifting ideas in Jewish thought.
But how exactly does Teshuva work? Does the bad we have done just vanish as if it never happened, or is the negative behavior somehow retained and transformed into good? As it turns out, there are two different types of Teshuva. One of them effectively erases the bad , while the other has the power to turn the bad into good.
In this powerful shiur, Rabbi Dunner explores a range of sources from Talmud and beyond that illustrate two different types of Teshuva, showing what each of them can mean for those who seek to go through the full Teshuva process.