“Ok, I Missed the Mark. Now What?” Jewish Self-Improvement

Get UpG-d is gracious with all his creatures.

He judges with kindness.

According to the ways of a person he judges.

If a person judges others positively, G-d reciprocates.

He goes according to the most actions of the person.

G-d initially created a world with the letter Aleph. Aleph is the first letter of the hebrew alphabet – whose numerical value is 1. There was one way to choose. Either a person would choose the right path or be immediately punished.

The world did not last.

Then he created the current world with the letter Bet. Bet is the second letter – with a numerical value of 2. Now there are two ways to choose. A person is given freedom of choice to choose between good and evil. If a person chooses good – he or she is rewarded. If he or she chooses evil – they are punished.

But Now in the “Bet” world, if a person repents / does Teshuva sincerely – they are forgiven.

If they repent because of fear of Hash-m’s punishment, their sins will be erased.

If they repent because of love of Hash-m – “Oh G-d, You have been so good to me, I love You so much, and I went off Your path, please forgive me!” – G-d changes their transgressions to Mitzvot.

The person by repenting has changed themselves into a new person.

What is important is that a person is going in the right direction.

Some people think that a righteous person never fails.

But this is not so. A person who is righteous, just realizes his or her error and feels badly, gets up and continues upward.

King Solomon says “For Man – There is no righteous person on earth that does only good and never sins.” (Kohelet / Ecclesiastics 7:20) Rashi Explains on it “Thus one should examine their deeds.”

Someone said that the path or the righteous is not a straight line going upward, it goes up and sometimes falls, but the general direction is is that it goes up.

The wisest of All men King Solomon said:

A Righteous Person Falls Seven Times and Gets Up …. (Mishle / Proverbs 24:16)

All people sometimes fail. It is up to us to get up. The main point is to get up and try to reach even higher than if we were on “cruise control”.

The basic Four Steps of Repentance

1. Acknowledgment of Transgression
2. Regret of Transgression
3. Confession and Supplication for Forgiveness to Hash-m / G-d
4. Commitment to Not Commit it Again

Repairing the Consequences of the sin also is part of the process – If someone stole – he has to return the object that he stole. Or If one spoke badly about others (Lashon HaRa’), he can make an effort to teach others about speaking positively.

Knowing what is right and what is wrong helps. Thus it makes sense for a person to learn Torah to know how a person can improve their life. They learn how to “miss the mark” less. H’et / transgression in Hebrew is just that – Missing the Mark.

At times a person walks around life with an burden of sadness upon them. They can’t pinpoint why they are sad. Sometimes it is the sould that feels the pain of the transgression that cries. But as long as the person does not acknowlege or know they are missing the mark – as explained by the Torah – they remain with this burden.

Thus it makes sense for a person to go and seek a reputable Orthodox Rabbi to guide them to the path to self-improvement.

Thus, one gains more more spiritually satisfaction from life and relieves a burden from your shoulders. They also become even closer to Hash-m through this process than they were before.

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