Repentance – Tishuvah

Question: What is the Jewish concept of Repentance and Tishuvah?

The Hebrew word for repentance is Tshuvah-תשובה and literally means to “return to G-d.” Our personal relationship with G-d allows us to turn directly to Him at any time, as it states:

* “Return to Me and I shall return to you” (Malachi 3:7)
* “when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.” ( Ezekiel 18:27)

Additionally, G-d is extremely compassionate and forgiving as is indicated in Daniel:

* “We do not present our supplications before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your abundant mercy.” (Daniel 9:18)

Conclusion

We clearly see that through repentance, prayer, fasting and doing what is right, the Torah teaches that everyone has the ability to return to God directly.

This concept is beautifully illustrated in the books of Jonah and Esther, where both Jews and non-Jews repented, prayed to God and were forgiven for their sins without having offered any sacrifices.