Return is the real translation of the word Teshuva.
I love that word because it spells out a very comforting thought; that the place we want to go to is a place we were before.
There’s lifetime memory, memories of events, and there’s the memory of the soul, in which the soul feels comfortable with an idea because it senses that it has been there before, perhaps not in this lifetime, or any temporal lifetime. But it was there in some other way.
There’s a great parable of a king who finds himself alone in a forest during some hike. He hears a shepherd playing a pleasant somber tune on his flute. The tune stops, and the king’s retinue finds him, bringing him back to the palace. He forgets the tune, but issues a kingdom-wide search for the tune with a promised reward.
His advisors ask him how he can expect to name a winner if he can’t even remember the tune himself.
“I don’t remember it, but when I hear it I will remember it.”
I might not know where I’ve been, but when I go back there, I’ll remember that I was there to begin with.
That’s why the Torah, the Jewish narrative, has to start with Gan Eden, and not hydrogen and amoebas.
(I’m not saying there were no hydrogen or amoabas. I’m saying the story has to START with Gan Eden.)
This has been quite a ride.
Thank you Leon Adato for pushing me to do this.
Thank you to my small band of email and website followers. If you would let me know if you’d like to see more of this, I would appreciate it.
See you in 5776.